Working as an educator, Allison Pflaum has witnessed the stark reality of food insecurity.
While working as a middle school math teacher, Pflaum saw a student take food out of the trash in order to avoid going hungry.
“That was kind of shocking to see,” Plfaum said. “It was kind of a wake up call for me.”
Since then, Pflaum has worked to help donate what she can to assist those who may not have enough to eat.
Now a realtor with Keller Williams in Buda, Pflaum, along with the Hays Home Team in Buda, donate some of their commission of each house sold to the Hays County Food Bank.
Pflaum, who taught for six years at Barton Middle School, said those who work at Title 1 campuses often see poverty and a lot of hungry kids. Title 1 is a federal program that provides supplemental funding to school districts to help low-income and at-risk students, according to brighthubeducation.com.
But she also realized those who may be hungry may not be willing to ask for help. In some circumstances, people may be “too proud or ashamed” to ask for help.
“There should not be any shame in needing help,” Pflaum said.
With the help of her two sons, Pflaum began volunteering to help the food insecure. They all donate food on holidays and distribute food during food drives.
As a teacher, Pflaum often provided snacks to students during tutorials.
“Sometimes you wondered if the kids were staying for the snacks or my help,” she said.
Volunteerism continued when she became a realtor with Keller Williams. When an agency that worked with the Hays County Food Bank needed peanut butter, Pflaum delivered and spent $100 at H-E-B on the product, and then took it to the HCFB headquarters in San Marcos.
Pflaum now joins Keller Williams’ Hays Home Team, which is pledging $100 for each home sold. The team hopes to donate to the HCFB each quarter.
During the last quarter, the Hays Home Team raised $4,000 to help feed the food insecure in Hays County. That amount contributed to about 20,000 meals last quarter, a figure that left Pflaum “floored.”
In addition, the team is also collecting food in the Cypress Creek and Plum Creek communities. The team aims to collect all food items on Oct. 14 and plans to reach 1,000 homes this year.
Pflaum said she feels blessed to be able to help, but understands the struggle many Hays County families face. It’s something she learned while in the classroom.
“A lot of the problems the kids face (in school) can’t be solved in the classroom and poverty is one of them,” Pflaum said. “There is a need to make their lives easier and it’s easier to learn when you have that protein for breakfast.”