BURLESON (CBS11) – The unwanted furniture has sometimes piled up at the Harvest House Ministry in Burleson.
It can stretch from the dumpster to right in front of the door.
“Mattresses, couches, large items that are already dirty and just need to be thrown out that we wouldn’t give out to families anyway,” explained Jennifer Woods, Harvest House’s Executive Director.
The problem of people dumping items like these got so bad recently, that Woods says the ministry installed a camera and put up signs warning people not to do this anymore.
The ministry, which provides food and clothing to those in need, had to waste money and resources getting rid of the items that should never have been left there.
Ethel Love has relied on Harvest House off and on for four years.
“It makes me very unhappy because they could use that money to buy extra food, or give it to people like myself,” said Love.
With the camera and signs, managers believe they’ve solved the issue. But they say they have a bigger problem now.
Shelves in the food pantry usually look like this after students return to school. “We need help,” Woods said.
During the summer, Harvest House provides families with school age children twice as much food.
But this year, the shelves are even more empty.
“From the families we talk to, a lot more people have been laid off this year,” said Woods. “The economy is struggling. People are getting jobs, but the jobs are paying less.”
So it’s not surprising the number of clients is rising. Harvest House served 11,606 people between January 1 and July 31.
During that same period last year, the agency helped 9,367 people.
Ethel Love is on disability and says the food and clothing she is given make a big difference.
“The SSI benefits I receive is actually not enough to take my family from one month to another,” said Love.
She says this is more than just a life-line. “It’s just like you coming around family. They’re always willing to help you.”
If you want to donate clothing or small household items to Harvest House, you’re asked to do so during normal business hours.
Do not leave them outside when they’re closed.
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