GARLAND, Texas - North Texas food banks, already hit hard by high demand, are bracing for even more people in need.
Organizations are being forced to get creative to make sure everyone is served.
Many people are down to the last few dollars of their final supplemental assistance, and food banks are finding out that more than ever, they are keeping families afloat.
Mom Misty Moore was stocking up for the month Wednesday at Good Samaritans of Garland Food Pantry, where need is up 300 percent over the last four months.
“I’m a local artist, and I have four kids and two parents that we support, and I fell ill with a very rare cancer,” Moore said.
Difficult circumstances compounded by a pandemic, with crushing job loss for millions.
The $600-a-week supplemental unemployment benefit has ended, and so far, there is no second stimulus package in sight.
“We’ve had people come in for food actually crying, tears in their eyes because it’s hard for people to ask for food,” said Pam Swendig, executive director of Good Samaritans of Garland Food Pantry.
Swendig said, fortunately, major grocery stores are still coming through with donations.
But the 1949 wood frame house where the food pantry operates lacks enough on-site refrigeration and storage for the amount of food needed to meet demand.
The organization is now raising money in a challenging time.
“We want to be better stewards of our resources, serve people more efficiently, so we are looking for some expansion possibility here on-site,” Swendig added.
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In Plano, the North Texas Food Bank (NTFB) is gearing up for its mobile food pantry returning to Fair Park on Tuesday, August 11, preparing to feed 3,000 families, which is twice what it served at the last Fair Park event in May.
This time, its adding walk-up service to drive-thru lanes.
“People are not wanting to take public transportation right now. It is a safety issue for many people. We know there are many people who need access to food and may not have the transportation,” said Trisha Cunningham, president and CEO of NTFB.
For those needing a boost, asking for help isn’t easy, but a huge relief knowing it’s there.
“You can focus more on paying your bills or making sure the car is running or the kids are getting educated through distance learning because you aren’t worried about how you are doing to eat,” Moore said.
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