RICHARDSON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Karen Richards slowed her small car to a stop Monday morning, in front of a drive-thru rerouted to a rear portion of an obscure Richardson office building.
She knew where she was going, but acknowledged she had not seen so many others, until the past two weeks.
“There’s a lot of people in need, particularly now, when you can’t go to work,” Richards said while a volunteer is placed six bags of food items in her trunk.
Richards was one of dozens of Dallas area residents lining up outside the Network of Community Ministries Food Pantry.
An average of 100 cars a day are receiving meats, poultry, produce and canned goods.
NCM organizers say residents from every walk of life in the Richardson, Garland and North Dallas area are seeking food support right now.
“The problem is you may have money coming, but when is it coming? You need to feed your family before then, and that’s what we are here for,” Cindy Shafer, President and CEO of the Network of Community Ministries.
Shafer said former donors to the pantry are now in need of their services.
The United Way of Metropolitan Dallas estimates $2 million in contributions in the past three weeks have been distributed to community agencies focused on food distribution to area families. “I’ve not seen anything like this”, Chief Strategy Officer Susan Hoff said Monday.
Hoff said 140 grants have been issued, with food and basic needs being the top priority. The sustainability of community food offerings is tied to “amplified generosity,” according to Hoff.
“What I’ve seen in these last couple of weeks is the amplification of generosity . As the need has grown, the generosity has grown exponentially,“ Hoff said.
The Network of Community Ministries pantry operates five days a week.
People from 14 surrounding zip codes can access the pantry. Prior to the Covid-19 outbreak, there were income limits for eligibility for assistance. Not anymore.