FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Volunteers at the Community Food Bank off Riverside in Fort Worth showed up to hand out turkeys Monday. But they were greeted with a huge surprise.
“Whoa!” exclaimed food bank volunteer Opal Lee as she gazed out at a long line of people stretching around the large, former warehouse where the food bank now operates. “Last year we serviced about 500 families. And right now how many people do you see already? It looks like a good 500 already. And we don’t have the turkey or trimmings to feed all these people!”
And last year the 500-people came over a two day period. This year, 500 showed up in one day to stand in the cold, damp weather. Many were turned away and told to try again tomorrow. “Sadly, there are more people needing food and donations are down,” said food bank manager Regena Taylor. “We sent an appeal to churches, friends of community food bank to our board of directors. And we got some response but not nearly the response we hoped for or needed.”
By Monday afternoon a forklift was offloading boxes from the back of Taylor’s SUV. The food bank used what money it had to buy 144 more turkeys. But workers know even twelve dozen birds can’t meet the thanksgiving demand.
“It sure would make thanksgiving nice, you know,” said Shawn Jones who was turned away when the food bank ran out of its first batch of turkeys Monday. “At least if you have nothing else to give thanks for you can give thanks for good food.”
“It hurts my heart,” Taylor said. “Because on a regular day there are 20 or 30 people lined up to receive just what we’re giving that day. When you turn over a hundred people away, I’m told we turned 160 away 160 people. That saddens me.”
They expect people to be in line Tuesday hours before the food bank opens. If you would like to donate, you can find out how on the Community Food Bank website – http://www.food-bank.org/