Montgomery Food Bank

Organization responds to growing demand

For the past 27 years, the Montgomery County Food Bank has served the community by providing meals to thousands of families. What started as a garage-based operation feeding 300 people per month has grown to serve hundreds of thousands per year.

It acts as a mothership for 51 service organizations throughout Montgomery County by providing them food. In Magnolia, MCFB supplies to St. Matthias Catholic Church and the Society of Samaritans.

"We function literally like a bank," said Sean-Michael Hazuda, president and CEO of MCFB. "Through our national and state partnerships, we are able to get much cheaper prices on food."

Scott Wall, president of SOS in Magnolia, said through the organization's partnership with MCFB it can purchase food from the food bank at much cheaper prices than what is offered at local grocery stores.

"We can buy items in bulk through them and buy more food than say if someone went and bought peanut butter from the grocery store—we can buy it cheaper," he said. "It's a great help for us."

MCFB's service area is confined to Montgomery County to relieve the Houston Food Bank, which is stretched thin with the task of feeding 137,000 families per week in Harris County and surrounding counties.

With Montgomery County ranked No. 4 on the CNN Money "Where the Jobs Are" national list, Hazuda said, people continue to move to the area but may not find the success they are expecting. As a result, MCFB saw 40,000 individuals served in October, which is a record-breaking number from about 37,000 per month in previous months.

About 94 percent of MCFB's clients are the working poor—individuals and families working one or several jobs who cannot keep up with bills and groceries.

"We have to continue to reach out to this population so they are not forgotten," Hazuda said. "That is our job."

Montgomery County Food Bank, 111 S. Second St., Conroe, 936-539-6686, www.mcfoodbank.org