Celia Cole, CEO of the Texas Food Bank Network, issued this statement today in response to the explosion at the West Fertilizer Co. Plant in West, Texas:

“The Texas Food Bank Network (TFBN) is greatly saddened by the news of the explosion at the West Fertilizer Co. Plant in West, Texas. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims of the blast, their families, and all the people of West.

“As a member of the Texas VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster), TFBN is preparing to assist the people affected by the explosion with emergency food and water.  We have asked the Capital Area Food Bank, one of our 21 member food banks, to assemble family food boxes and bottled water for distribution through its partner agencies in Waco. Other member food banks stand ready to deploy their resources as well.

“We are waiting to hear from the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) on specific needs from our food banks. As soon as we have more information, we will let the media know how to direct people wanting to donate money, food or time to assist those affected by this disaster. In the meantime, please direct all volunteer or donation inquiries to Gaye Lynn Bailey, TFBN Disaster Coordinator at 817-531-3663.”