The Tarrant Area Food bank is a busy place and even more so now.
"A lot of the families in communities are still unemployed or nearly unemployed, and they don't have the same benefits as when the pandemic hit," said Javi Gonzalez, an agency services coordinator with Tarrant Area Food Bank.
Eight months of feeding families in 13 counties in North texas ramps up as the holidays approach.
"We have a lot of families that don't have the money to purchase their meals for the holidays," Gonzalez said.
The mission of fighting hunger just got a big partner in Kroger.
Kroger Dallas Division and the Kroger Co. Zero Hunger Zero Waste Foundation will kick off the holidays with its inaugural Community Care Hunger Program. The goal is to provide 5 million meals in partnership with five area food banks, including North Texas Food Bank, Tarrant Area Food Bank, East Texas Food Bank, Food Bank of Central Louisiana and Food Bank of Northwest Louisiana.
Through Wednesday, December 23, customers will be able to support food-insecure families through the Community Care Hunger program. Customers will find displays throughout the store where they will find a “virtual box” or “Community Care $10 Food Box” tab they can pull and bring to the register upon checkout. Customer donations will be captured on the Community Care wall in recognition of their generosity.
The latest news from around North Texas.
Customers can also round-up their general grocery purchase to the nearest $1, $5, or $10. In addition to customer contributions, long-standing partner Coca-Cola has pledged $100,000 to the hunger program.
Kroger has 109 stores in North Texas and employees are ready to do their part to embrace the season of caring.
"Our associates are so excited, so if you go in the store over the next six weeks and you make a donation. You may hear this ringing, this 'whoo! Hoo!' A big celebration. We're gonna celebrate every single dollar and every single virtual hunger bag we sell over the next six weeks because we know we can help feed America and we can help feed northern Texas," Adam Wampler, president of the Kroger Dallas Division, told NBC 5.
For Gonzalez and others working so hard to feed families, the partnership is a prayer answered.
"Hopefully each and every family is able to get a whole holiday meal," Gonzalez said.
NBC 5 and Telemundo 39 are media partners for the Community Care Hunger program as part of our Fighting Hunger campaign.