East Dallas Neighbor Takes Aim at Hunger with ‘Blessing Table'

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Along Gaston Avenue, there’s a small table stocked with pantry staples each morning.

Since Beth Basile first placed it in her yard at the end of April, she’s made it her mission to keep it filled.

She said it all started with a neighbor’s single request.

"One Saturday I was pulling out of my driveway and I saw a man that was kind of standing there, and he stopped me and asked, ‘Do you have any food? I'm hungry’,” said Basile.  

If he had the courage to ask a stranger for help, Basile was sure there were others that did, too.

She’d seen the images on the news of hundreds of cars waiting hours to load their trunks with food handouts as job loss caused by the pandemic forced food insecurities in Dallas to grow.

She also knew not everyone had the resources or time to make it to those handouts, so she brought the handout to them.

And day after day, she watched the supply dwindle by day’s end.

That’s why four months later, she said there’s no end in sight for “The Blessing Table.”

“Once you start, you don’t want to disappoint anybody, and I feel like there’s going to be a need for this for quite a while,” said Basile.

To date, Basile guesses she’s made more than two dozen grocery runs for supplies. Still, she said it’s tough to put a number on how much food she’s supplied or how many people she’s helped. She just knows she hasn’t done it alone.

Not long after she began, she was surprised to find the table restocked by coworkers, friends and neighbors.

"It really has been a community effort,” said Basile.

And for now, she said there are no plans for it to come to an end.

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