Food Bank Survives COVID-19 Pandemic Thanks to PlainsCapital
“It’s one of those surprising miracles that happens in life when you least expect it. It carried us through a very difficult time when we were struggling. PlainsCapital has been a partner in many ways for many years.” – Bea Hanson, Executive Director of Coastal Bend Food Bank
One of 22 food banks across Texas, Coastal Bend Food Bank serves food pantries in 11 counties. In return, those pantries serve the people who need food most.
PlainsCapital Bank has been a dedicated partner, both financially and personally, allowing the food bank to distribute millions of pounds of food to agencies and people each year.
In 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic began, Coastal Bend Food Bank was just two weeks away from running out of food. As people were losing jobs and needing more assistance, food was going out of the warehouse as fast as it was coming in. The Food Bank was competing with grocery stores to purchase food from the manufacturers. It was slow coming. The funding was drying up. With low supply, and high demand, times were getting more difficult.
The Food Bank has partnered with PlainsCapital for years. PlainsCapital’s Coastal Bend Region Chairman, Frank Hastings, previously served as the food bank’s board president, and he knew the food bank was struggling to keep up financially.
He called Bea Hanson, executive director of Coastal Bend Food Bank, to discuss the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which provides forgivable loans to small businesses to help cover up to 24 weeks of payroll costs and qualifying non-payroll expenses. Frank was able to guide Bea through the application process.
“There was a great demand. We were able to meet the demand, serve the people and survive. PlainsCapital has been a partner in many ways for many years. They’ve supported us with our banking needs, plus they are people with great qualities and understanding and abilities that have been at hand when we least expect it. Frank knew our needs and knew it would help us. He made sure we were recipients of this gift. He saved us in this crisis.” – Bea Hanson
The Food Bank received $396,400 during the first round of PPP funding. That money helped the organization pay their employees for 11 weeks. It also gave their partnering agencies a break, financially. Agencies usually pay 16 cents per pound for most of their food. During May and June, Coastal Bend was able to waive this cost, giving the agencies more than 2.6 million pounds of food for people in need, at no charge. In 2020, Coastal Bend Food Bank distributed 13.3 million pounds of food.