Hundreds of cars were lined up outside of the Tarrant Area Food Bank’s distribution center on Thursday waiting for emergency food boxes provided by the food bank.
One of those people in line is Willie Trevizo of Fort Worth. His family, like many in the city, has been without water for four days.
“I’ve never done this before. It’s sad, but I guess everyone is going through hard times right now,” Trevizo said through tears. “I really didn’t want to come because I just had to.”
The inclement weather has stopped his work for the week, Trevizo said. His daughter and grandchildren are staying with him after leaving their Haltom City home, which has had no power.
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“I see a lot of people and you know, I’m not embarrassed to come here,” Trevizo said, referring to the line of cars Thursday. “I guess I’ll get something for the house until I get back to work, maybe Saturday.”
Julie Butner, president and CEO of Tarrant Area Food Bank, said the emergency event Thursday was the first time they held a distribution directly from their warehouse along Cullen Street in Fort Worth.
“We’ve never done this before, but in talking in my senior leadership and what the community has gone through in terms of power outages and water shortages and grocery stores either not opened or limited with the amount of food they have on their shelves, we felt like we needed to come out and do this today,” Butner said. “We solicited help from the Army National Guard and we’re out here, serving food to people who obviously need it.”
People in line left with boxes filled with 25-40 pounds of food, along with water. The boxes should have enough food to last a few days, Butner said.
Their organization was not immune to the power outages this week, she said. They lost power for about 40 hours.
“Our refrigerators and freezers were down. We were in yesterday going through all the food items to determine what we could keep and what we had to throw away as a result of that,” she said. “We don’t have a backup generator. It’s something we’ve have never been able to afford. It’s something we’ll have to look at investing in.”
There was also an effort through Meals on Wheels, Inc. of Tarrant County to continue feeding people. 350 of their clients were delivered shelf-stable food Thursday, bringing them to a total of 732 people who were delivered food this week.
Each client received five shelf-stable meals and four breakfast meals. Those who were delivered meals this week are considered high-risk clients identified by case managers or have self-identified.
Jim Bellis, a volunteer with Meals on Wheels, delivered meals to 11 people on his route Thursday.
“In today’s environment and today’s weather and so forth this week, they don’t have any other way to get a meal,” Bellis said. “When I delivered Tuesday, it was too a group of folks at an apartment complex that I knew really needed the meals. They were very surprised to see me, didn’t think they were going to get a meal.”
In a press release, Fort Worth ISD announced they would be partnering with Tarrant Area Food Bank to host three food distribution events between Friday and Monday.
In addition to the weekly Mega Mobile Market, held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. each Friday at the Herman Clark Stadium, two additional food distributions will take place at the stadium this week.
There will be one from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 20 and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, Feb. 22.
Herman Clark Stadium is located at 5201 CA Roberson Blvd. in Fort Worth.
For more information on food distributions and pantries, click here.