DALLAS - Dallas County commissioners have learned that demand is so high at the North Texas Food Bank (NTFB), it's running out of money.
Things are looking pretty dire, but the news did not come as a surprise to commissioners, given current circumstances.
And they said they stand ready to help.
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said the North Texas Food Bank has informed him it is running out of money.
Of the North Texans needing food, 70 percent said it’s their first time visiting a food bank.
While the state can’t make a direct contribution to NTFB right now, it did send National Guardsmen to help pack and distribute food more quickly.
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The county said it can get reimbursed from the state for most of what it contributes, and Jenkins said other counties are also on board to pitch in.
In the meantime, Jenkins said they’ve started a virtual food drive called Neighbor to Neighbor.
“Food pantry has basically put us on notice they are about to exhaust their funds. We’ve been told by the state they are not eligible to make a contribution. And so I think some kind of memorandum of understanding amongst the counties, watching where the population is hailing from. And if Dallas County is 40 percent of it, then we need to make our 40 percent contribution,” Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price said.
Commissioners also unanimously approved $5 million for two contracts for the next three months to help get the pop up hospital at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center up and running.
While the Navy will meet the medical needs, Dallas County is responsible for other services like laundry, technical support, food distribution, and transportation.
“FEMA would cover certain costs at 100 percent, and then there would be other designated areas that would be at a 75/25 breakdown reimbursement,” Dallas County Commissioner Theresa Daniels said.” So we are keeping very good records and that’s one of the reasons Olson is there is to represent Dallas County, our interest and make sure our taxpayers interests are being paid attention to.”
Commissioner Daniels said the money the county does have to contribute will come from reserves and other areas designated for that purpose.
Ultimately, the facility will be used to care for those who are recovering from the virus, freeing up services at Parkland.
It’s still unclear how much money the North Texas Food Bank will need from the county.
Commissioner Price said there may be another emergency meeting to address it.
But there is the virtual food bank, Neighbor to Neighbor, for those who want to help.