We were founded in 1982 by a group of concerned citizens who conducted a survey to see if a food bank was needed in our area. In 1982 food banks were new, and people didn't really understand the need. The group worked tirelessly and concluded that not only did we need one, we needed it desperately.
Quickly they formed a 501c(3), or nonprofit status, and the High Plains Food Bank was born. It was October 1982 and our distribution was 3,465 lbs. that month. My how things have changed, January 2012's distribution was 589,442 lbs. While things have changed as far as the size of our operation, one thing hasn't -- our mission. We are alleviating hunger on the High Plains.
Throughout our history we have had to fight the stereotype that we are Amarillo's Food Bank. Many think that we don't serve their communities, or even have a presence there. Of course, it is easy to see how one could come to that conclusion. We are based in Amarillo, and it seems a lot of what we do publically is in Amarillo. What we do behind the scenes or lens of cameras is a very significant presence in the 30,000 miles we cover.
Never has this been more evident that we are the High Plains Food Bank than this last year. We sent out 6.2 million pounds of food. That is pretty remarkable. What makes this even more exciting for us is that this year, 55% of our distribution was outside of Potter and Randall counties. There is no doubt about the High Plains in our name, especially since over half of what we sent out went to the vast 27 county area.
Of course, none of this is possible without generous donors such as the Wal-Mart State Giving Program, and fantastic agencies. The $25,000 we received enabled us to meet the needs of rural communities that lack adequate access to nutritional food. Those partnerships working together are what gets the food out the doors and loaded onto our trucks daily.