The Food Bank of Abilene, Inc. dba Food Bank of West Central Texas is a non-profit 501 (C) 3 community service organization that collects donated food to distribute to other non-profit agencies serving the needy of the Big Country. The Food Bank began in early 1983 under the leadership of Mary Frances Warren, Texas Dept. of Public Welfare, Pete Ybarra with the Community Action Program, and Betty Bradley. They visited a food bank in the Metroplex and Betty visited the Capital Area Food Bank in Austin. After discussions and research, they called a community meeting on March 29, 1983, to explain the concept of a “food bank.” A representative of the Anti-Hunger Coalition of Texas gave a presentation on how to start a new food bank. From that meeting, a Board of Directors was formed. Sonny Herman was elected Board President, Mary Frances Warren was Vice-President. Pete Ybarra and Betty Bradley were elected to the board. The Board’s first functions were to elect officers, write by-laws, and seek non-profit status for the Food Bank. By January 1984, all organizational functions had been completed and space for the warehouse had been located at 5513 North First. The space and most of the equipment were donated by individuals and companies. That first month, six businesses donated 4,900 pounds of food that was distributed to six agencies. By December of 1984, 27 businesses donated 21,000 pounds of food that was distributed to 25 agencies. Over 225,000 pounds of food was donated in 1984, with 153,000 pounds being distributed. In 2006, over 3 million pounds of food was distributed.
Later the facilities were moved to its present location at 5505 North 1st Street. After two expansions, the warehouse has approximately 23,000 sq. ft. of storage space. There are now over 150 agencies in thirteen counties receiving food. Our service area includes Brown, Callahan, Coleman, Comanche, Eastland, Fisher, Jones, Mitchell, Nolan, Runnels, Shackelford, Stephens, and Taylor counties, covering over 12,000 square miles.
The founding fathers of the Food Bank, Mr. Hermann and Mr. Herod, have since passed away, but their legacy lives on at the Food Bank. Their passion for feeding hungry people and preventing the waste of good food is carried on by an active board of directors, a small staff of nine, and hundreds of volunteers.
We will continue to serve the Big Country through innovative programs that help raise hunger awareness and feed the hungry in West Central Texas.
We Proudly Serve the Following Counties:
Brown, Callahan, Coleman, Comanche, Eastland, Fisher, Jones, Mitchell, Nolan, Runnels, Shackelford, Stephens, Taylor
For detailed information on poverty figures go to Texas County Data from the 2000 Census.