We've come to expect a line of cars at food pantries during the pandemic. But this time, it's the food bank itself that needs replenishing.
"And we're looking for nonperishable items, canned goods, peanut butter, breakfast cereals, cooking oil, jelly, juices, all those kinds of things," said Bob Greenfield with the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.
Greenfield and other volunteers manage a small food pantry at Holy Family of Nazareth Catholic Church in Irving.
The pandemic brought three times as many calls for food, and already in 2021, volunteers have driven more than 7,000 miles to help the poor.
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"A lot of the people we serve don't have cars and rely on public transportation. They can't really go to these huge mega food distribution things and we fill that void," Greenfield said. "When people need food, we deliver food to their doorstep six days a week"
But supplies are thin - and volunteers need help.
The food pantry operates in conjunction with Catholic Charities of Dallas and the North Texas Food Bank. NTFB provides nonperishable food items which the pantry supplements with fresh and frozen foods, as well as toiletries and household cleaning supplies. Nonfood items cannot be purchased with food stamps, so the poor often have difficulty paying for these. Greenfield said.
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They're hoping the community comes through Saturday morning with donations of nonperishable food and toiletries to restock the shelves and keep them on the road helping others.
"It's so uplifting when we are able to help somebody, get 'em through. We're not a total solution, by far, but we do play a vital role," Greenfield said.
The food collection drive is Saturday, June 4, 9 a.m. - 11 a.m. in the parking lot of Holy Family of Nazareth, 2323 Cheyenne St, Irving, TX 75062.