VIDEOHear from the beneficiaries of a soup kitchen

Despite Energy Economy, Some Fall Short in Land of Plenty

Across Midland and the rest of West Texas, wages are soaring for oil and gas industry workers — but so is the cost of living. For those who don’t hold top-dollar energy jobs, just paying the rent and putting food on the table have gotten a lot tougher.

In the middle of this multibillion-dollar boom sits Breaking Bread Kitchen, a community center that opens for one hour every night to provide free hot meals to residents who need them — including those burdened by the boom.

Midland County

Midland County by the Numbers

2000 2010 2013
Population 116,009 136,872 151,468
2006 2013
Homes priced < $200K 78% 40%
Homes priced between $200K & $400K 20% 48%
Homes priced > $400K 2% 12%
Rental units < $700/month 8,800 3,400
Rental units > $700/month 4,800 11,000
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Texas A&M Real Estate Center