At Metrocrest Services in Farmers Branch, volunteers work six days a week to keep food pantry shelves stocked. But despite an increase in the number of food drives around the community to help, they say it hasn’t been enough to provide all of the food and supplies needed for the increase in families needing a helping hand this season.
“We’re seeing over 700 individuals every week. We’re their grocery store. That’s about 20,000 pounds of food or more going out every week, so we’re just having a real difficult time keeping the shelves full.” said CEO Tracy Eubanks.
Eubanks says the increase in the number of people they need to serve is about 10 percent. And though they always see some kind of increase this time of year while kids are out of school and families have more expenses, this year it seems more pronounced.
“The need for food just like the need for housing continues to increase. The cost of housing continues to increase. That impacts everybody’s budget. And families with children, even seniors, really have a greater need for food, especially for healthy food, than they have in the past,” said Eubanks.
Meaning the cost of living rises while salaries for many remain the same.
But while Eubanks believes the greater problem is the creation of more affordable housing, Metrocrest Services and other providers try to keep up with the immediate need of food insecurity.
“We really feel bad when a mom with kids comes in and we don’t have detergent or when we have a senior come in and we don’t have toilet paper. Those things really bother us a lot and we often find our great volunteers running out to go buy things for us to fill those shelves. But inevitably, we will run out of items,” said Eubanks.
Eubanks says there are several current food drives that will continue through the end of the year. While many people donate canned goods, he says the greatest need is for items like cereal, macaroni and cheese and home products like toilet paper, laundry detergent and diapers.
They also accept monetary donations on their website.