Feeding kids in the Dallas ISD and providing them a third meal of the day has long been the work of a nonprofit called Hunger Busters.
The mission has expanded in the pandemic and now the group is hosting drive-through food distribution events to help families across Dallas County fight hunger.
“We're helping families in the community in Oak cliff. We're here providing them with boxes of produce and dairy products as well as protein,” said Jason Garza, the nonprofit’s vice president of operations, as he watched car after car roll up to Templo Betania on East Jefferson Boulevard.
Leticia Membiola, a Dallas woman with a child at home and one on the way, was one of many waiting in line.
“The food here helps us so we don't have to spend so much on food, so we can money left over to help pay off the bills,” Membiola said.
Families are still stretched thin, seven months into the pandemic.And the reality is the line for free food will stretch for weeks to come.
“We’re booked for the month of October. We're going from churches in Pleasant Grove to Mesquite to Garland and here in Oak Cliff, South Oak Cliff, North Oak Cliff, so the need is growing,” Garza said.
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Food is the obvious need. And, a second need is here, too; the need to help.
“It’s always good to help other people especially when you can,” said Lafayette Pate, one of the many there at the Oak Cliff site loading boxes of food into waiting cars.
Not much, if anything, is said between giver and receiver, but a connection is there. It’s in actions that show compassion, kindness and respect.
“The smiles on their face. Some people be shocked. As long as we speak to them the right way and make sure they have food in their cars, I’m sure they feel good,” Pate said. “I hope it goes well for them just like they're helping other people,” Membiola said.