This is the third column I have written about the food crisis that exists for many of our fellow citizens. There is an old adage that says people need to hear something three times for it to be remembered. Whether the adage is correct or not, there are many facing food shortages for a variety of reasons, which is a sad fact. Please know this, please don’t forget it, and act to help if you can.
The July 2022 United States Department of Agriculture report says that a family of four consisting of two adults and two children ages 6-10 on a “moderate” budget needs to spend $15,312 a year on food. That is $42 per day; $294 per week; $1,273 per month.
Add teenagers and bigger families and $20,000-plus per year is a reality. If the household income is $50-60,000 a year, minimum food costs amount to more than 25% of the income. These numbers do not include the costs of eating out. Add rent, utilities, auto expenses, clothing, dentist, and doctor checkups, and many families simply do not have enough to buy the food needed. They are food insecure. You can search many websites that discuss this issue, including Feeding America at www.feedingamerica.org.
Food banks continue to be stressed as demand has grown. I saw a food distribution announced on a news broadcast, then covered the day of the distribution, and there were long lines of cars waiting to get food. Many of these folks had never had to accept food donations.
If you want to help, you can donate money by going to websites. The Center of Hope, 1318 Clear Lake Road in Weatherford (www.centerofhopetx.com) is one place you can give. You can also take groceries directly to them. I have sent money to them, but I like the cathartic experience of hand-carrying groceries I bought. As a Christian, I feel most blessed by going there myself, but any way you can donate is ok. But whatever your religious affiliation, or if you have none, you will feel good about doing it.
Center of Hope also has the Hope Chest Thrift Store. It is a very upscale resale shop. You can donate clothes and many other items that they can sell. You will need to go there to donate items which is another great experience.You can also help them by shopping at the store. There is really nice merchandise for sale there. The Hope Chest has been named the number one thrift store in Parker County.
The recently opened Tarrant Food Bank at 112 Winner’s Circle in Weatherford (www.tafb.org) is another place you can help. You can go to their website and donate. They are distributing food to many Texas counties.
Both of these organizations do more than provide food. There are budgeting classes and other training to help people get out of poverty and seek a better life.
I know we are all bombarded with requests from many worthy organizations, but hopefully you can give a little to these local organizations. And maybe when you are at the grocery store, you can add a few items for one of these worthy organizations. Then look up their address and take the food there yourself. You will experience first hand how much it is needed and appreciated. You do this once and you will not forget it but going back three or more times will make double (or triple) sure you won’t forget them.
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