ODESSA, Texas (Big 2/Fox 24) – The 2020 Census is important not just for the local amenities such as roads, education, medical services, but also for non-profits like the West Texas Food Bank.
Currently, Midland and Odessa have less than a 50% response to the Census.
“Over the next ten years if we came undercount by just a small percentage, that could leave 30 million meals on the table and that’s throughout the 19 counties we serve,” says Craig Stoker from the West Texas Food Bank. “So, it affects more than Midland or Odessa.”
Stoker says having an accurate count is vital for the non-profit to know the number of people they need to serve and numbers needed to apply for grants for adequate funding.
“We are dependent on those numbers,” says Stoker.
Federal funds make up about 12 percent of the food bank’s budget according to Stoker. Those funds help pay for programs, such as the Kid’s Cafe program, the organization has to offer.
“To lose out on funding because you can’t take two minutes out your time is just really a shame,” says Stoker.
The Food Bank has distributed more than 2.5 million pounds of food since early March, more than 61 percent more than this time last year.
For more information on the economic impact of an undercount and to fill out the census, visit thepermiancounts.com.