FORT WORTH (CBS 11 NEWS) - The line stretches almost around the building.
Thursday morning is another typical day at Community Food Bank in Fort Worth, one of the oldest food pantries in North Texas.
“It’s like a surprise to see what you are going to get,” says Michael Jackson with a big smile.
Jackson, from Fort Worth, waited in line for almost an hour to get his box filled with lettuce, carrots, meat and other goodies.
“I depend on them. When you are not able to get out there – with meat and food going up at the grocery store – vegetables going up – you can’t get tomatoes or nothing,” explains Jackson. “When you want a decent meal, instead of Ramen noodles all the time, this is a good place.”
Angel Renteria just started turning to Community Food Bank for help.
“My house burned down four weeks ago,” Renteria says as he waits in line. “We lost everything we owned. We are bouncing back and forth on the street. Got a wife, little girl and son. It’s kind of hard and lost all my animals.”
The food bank and pantry helps more than 1400 people every day.
This year, they aren’t having a hard time keeping food on their shelves, but paying their bills.
“If something happened and our lights went out, I can’t even imagine,” says Regena Taylor Executive Director of Community Food Bank.
The non-profit’s bills have been piling up.
The biggest expense is electricity, and right now that bill due totals more than $10,000. It’s due next week.
“You can go to any food pantry and get bread, rice and beans,” says Taylor. “But people stand in line in all kinds of weather…with kids…to get fresh, nutritious produce. “
Taylor says if their 6,000 square feet refrigerator and freezer doesn’t have power, then the pantry doors could close in just days.
The food bank and pantry gives food to anyone from anywhere. It doesn’t matter which zip code people come from. They will not turn anyone away.
“I was surprised when I first came here when the house burned down. It was pork chops. I was like ‘oh my Lord. Look at here. We are blessed!” says Renteria.
Renteria also appreciates that the pantry provides food for pets.
In his box of food, he took with him some canned goods for his dog.
Community Food Bank gives any food left over to other food pantries like Presbyterian Night Shelter, Salvation Army and Union Gospel Mission.
Taylor says the need for help keeps growing, and they’ve got to come up with a way to pay their bills.
Along with Fort Worth’s Mayor Betsy Price, Community Food Bank will be hosting it’s first Fort Worth Iron Chef and Silent Auction on Monday, October 29, 2012. The event starts at 6 p.m. at the Trinity River Campus of Tarrant County College.
TCC Chancellor Irma Johnson Hadley will be there, along with several celebrity executive chefs.
Taylor hopes that event will put a dent in their financial crisis.
If you would like to attend or donate to the Community Food Bank, visit www.food-bank.org for contact information and ways you can help.
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