Air National Guard, Cowtown Marathon help Tarrant Area Food Bank pack food for families in need

Several organizations had to work together Friday morning in Tarrant County to quickly get meals to families in need.

The latest mission for the Air National Guard in Fort Worth involves food and families dealing with the hardships brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

"It's very manual, getting the produce into the boxes, taping the boxes, getting the boxes onto our distribution trucks," one person explained.

The men and women in uniform answered the call from the Tarrant Area Food Bank.

"We are serving, as basically the extra manpower that they need to get these fresh produce, food packaged up and out to the community," said Major Jennifer Carroll, with the 136th Airlift Wing.

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The charity, despite escalating demand, has struggled to keep up with distribution of the food donations from foundations and the general public.

"We are experiencing about a 60 percent increase in distribution, and because of that, we do not have enough people and we don't have enough distribution square footage,” said Julie Butner, with the Tarrant Area Food Bank.

That's where another Fort Worth partner has come “running” to the rescue. The annual Cowtown Marathon donated space in its operations warehouse for the box packing mission.

"This is a way for us to be able to give back to all those people who come out to our race and help us,” Heidi Swartz said. “Now we can help the Tarrant Area Food Bank, and in return, they can help all the people out there in the community needing help. It’s just a win-win. It's neighbors helping neighbors.”

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