The Official 2019 Santa Hustle® Galveston Charity is Galveston County Food Bank.
Galveston County Food Bank began in April 2003 as Gleanings From The Harvest, an idea born by the Co-Founder Mark Davis and the late Pastor Bill Ritter who shared a vision in which no one in Galveston County went hungry.
In June 2004, Gleanings began operations as a receiving and distribution service benefiting smaller organizations operating food pantries and meal preparation sites for those in need. Many of these smaller partner organizations lacked the financial purchasing power and the physical space to buy and store bulk quantities of essential foods. Gleanings took on these responsibilities by acquiring donated canned, dry, fresh and frozen foods; personal hygiene items; and cleaning supplies directly from food manufacturers and providers. Gleanings stored the products in its central warehouse and subsequently distributed needed quantities to partnering agencies.
Gleanings continued to grow and made plans to move to a larger more centralized facility in Texas City that better served the entire county. Hurricane Ike struck the Texas Gulf Coast on September 13, 2008 causing significant damage to Galveston Island and a temporary delay in Gleanings’ plans for expansion. Behind every cloud though lies a silver lining and with Hurricane Ike came access to federal recovery dollars. With this funding, Gleanings renovated and moved into a facility which now provides 11,500 square feet of space for commercial freezers and refrigerators, expanded dry food storage areas, loading docks for easier food in-take and out-flow and central office space. This is the current location of the Galveston County Food Bank.
The role of the Galveston County Food Bank is to feed hungry people. This mission has become critical to food distribution in Galveston County in light of the growing need for food assistance. One of the greatest challenges facing economically disadvantaged people is accessing and purchasing nutritional food. Although food is plentiful in the United States, the challenge for social service organizations dedicated to helping hungry people lies in the logistics of securing, transporting, storing and distributing the food. Through the Galveston County Food Bank system, Galveston County has access to allocated USDA food as well as donated, salvaged and reclamated food, cleaning supplies and personal hygiene products from manufacturers and retail distributors. The Food Bank warehouses bulk quantities of fresh, frozen, canned and dry food products in readiness for distribution to partnering agencies throughout Galveston County, distributing about 7.3 million pounds of food each year.