PLANO, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – An unprecedented need for food and drinking water pushed the largest pantry in North Texas to its limits on Monday, Feb. 22.
For the first time in the 13 years of food giveaways, the operator of Minnie’s Food Pantry says she was worried about running out.READ MORE: Dallas Carter Alum Sha'Carri Richardson Notches Win At Olympic Trials
The winter storms and the continuing impact of COVID-19 have only multiplied the problems of those who came here for handouts.
A line of cars stretched for more than two miles around Minnie’s Food Pantry in Plano waiting for meal boxes and cases of water.
Minnie’s Founder Cheryl Jackson told CBS 11 she’s never seen anything like it.
Police blocked off streets while vehicles rolled up to receive care packages that included three to fiev meals, as well as 60 pounds of canned goods and a case of bottled water.
Some of these recipients have been here before.READ MORE: Nebraska Sending State Troopers To Help At Southern Texas Border
A lot are on fixed incomes, others are still unemployed because of last years shutdown.
But adding to that, struggling families like the Ratcliff’s from Wylie, who lost all of their refrigerated food when the power went out last week.
“We had food but we pretty much lost everything,” said Emmetta Ratcliff.
“You see this for miles and miles and miles and there people in these cars they’re scared and it’s up to us to be able to help them,” said Jackson. “Some of them are just asking me for a hug. ‘Cheryl can you just tell me everything is going to be ok?’ I’m getting hit one after the other.”
Fortunately, the pantry did have enough to meet the needs.MORE NEWS: Texas Deputy Constable's Wife, Stepdaughter Shot During Home Invasion, Police Say
A total of 79,000 meals were distributed by noon, the largest ever weekly giveaway here.