• Photo by Tim O’Malley/The Mexia News
    Earlier this year, Kelvin Beachum joined representatives of the Central Texas Food Bank to announce his donation match challenge to raise money to feed the hungry in the tri-county area of Limestone, Freestone and McClennan counties. Shown here at a food giveaway in July, l-r, are food bank board member Leslie Sweet, well-wisher Brian Johnson, Mexia Mayor Richard Duncan, food bank president Derrick Chubbs and Beachum.
  • Contributed photo
    The Central Texas Food Bank brings its mobile food pantry to Mexia regularly for those who need help with obtaining groceries. An effort is being made to increase the amount of groceries provided here since research shows that one in five Limestone County residents is either hungry or does not know where their next meal is coming from.

Beachum challenge to benefit hungry people in three counties

By Roxanne Thompson Staff Writer

One in six Texans struggles with hunger, according to research by the Central Texas Food Bank – but in Limestone County the struggle is even more common, with one in five adults and an even higher percentage of children either hungry or not sure where they will get their next meal.

Mexia favorite son Kelvin Beachum took a significant step to change those statistics, however, starting this past July, when he issued a matching challenge for anyone who would donate to the food bank to benefit the tri-county area of Limestone, Freestone and McClennan counties.

The way it works is that Beachum will match every gift toward this goal, up to $50,000. Further, he pledged that if the entire $50,000 is raised, he will double his match to $100,000, making a total of $150,000 to feed the hungry of the three counties.

“In my mind, hunger is unacceptable anywhere,” Beachum said Tuesday. “But the issue has a special place in my heart when it comes to my hometown and nearby areas. More than 18,000 kids here in the tri-county area face hunger on a regular basis. I’m proud of the steps we’ve taken so far to help alleviate that situation, but it’s time to take the fight against hunger to the next level.”

As of Oct. 10, donations toward the challenge total $17,265, said Amelia Long, the food bank’s donor relations manager. The food bank invites those who will donate any size gift to “double down” on the fight against hunger here through Beachum’s matching challenge.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Beachum has been named the food bank’s ambassador-at-large to promote its programs and goals in alleviating hunger in the tri-county area.

“To me, being the Central Texas Food Bank’s Ambassador at Large is not just an honorary title,” Beachum said. “I plan to give it my all, bringing my time, talents and resources to bear on the fight against hunger, and am hopeful others will join this effort.”

The Central Texas Food Bank is located in Austin and serves 21 counties, including Limestone, Freestone and McClennan. The food bank has a network of 250 partner agencies, such as soup kitchens, food pantries and social service agencies, that receive food from the food bank’s large warehouse and give it directly to people in need.

To read more of this story, pick up a copy of Thursday's edition of The Groesbeck Journal! You can also subscribe online or call 254-729-5103.

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