On a cold December morning, Chris Howell faced a big problem as he bundled up to serve his community.
“It couldn't come at a worse time,” said Howell, the founder of the Chris Howell Foundation.
The organization that normally supplies food for the foundation’s distributions ran out of food last week.
“Families were already hurting, and now not knowing where they're going to get a meal from puts us in a pretty bad predicament," he said.
Howell explained a surge in demand around Thanksgiving, combined with federal grant money for food programs running out contributed to the problem. He knows first-hand how important it is to find a new source to keep his distributions going this month.
"Being in this position as a kid,” he said. “When my mom would walk through a door with something similar to the boxes there was a sense of hope that someone cared enough to provide something for us."
Many of the people who come to the distributions are seeking help for the first time, which is something that drives volunteers like Arthur Williams to help.
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“To see the smile on their face when they come through the line, knowing I could be one of those persons driving in the line myself,” he says makes the effort rewarding. “If you've just got 30 minutes of your time, an hour of your time, that can make a difference."
The foundation is asking for monetary donations as they search for a new food source. They’re also seeking volunteers to help with distributions and packing personal protective equipment kits that come with the food boxes.
“We again understand where the families are, that they won't always be there,” Howell said.“They need a little assistance to get down the road and that's what we're here to do.”
NBC 5 is a media sponsor of the Chris Howell Foundation