Summer is a particularly rough time for food insecure families across North Texas. And the ripple affect is felt throughout the community. This morning the Vickery Meadow Food Pantry posted this message to its Facebook page:
"Vickery Meadow Food Pantry desperately needs our help! They're extremely low in food and need items such as canned fruits, green beans, corn and other vegetables. Food can be placed in collection bins at all Temple entrances. Let's join together to help our neighbors -- please spread the word!"
As part of the North Texas Food Bank network, Vickery Meadow is one of the many pantries in the area that have been working with a shortage all year, which will be magnified with kids out of school.
Earlier this year we spoke with Jan Pruitt, the CEO of the NTFB, and she explained how during the summer kids turn to food pantries to make up for those meals they miss at schools, which places an increased strain on the entire system.
Diana Einstein is the associate program director at Temple Emanu-El, the large synagogue across Northwest Highway from Vickery Meadow that plays a large role in operating the Vickery Meadow Food Pantry. Einstein says they particularly need fresh fruits and vegetables.
"We have a large refugee population that visits our food pantry and they are really drawn to produce because it's something they recognize," she says. "We may have a box of macaroni and cheese, but they have no idea what that is."
Temple Emanu-El has a robust community garden, which provides part of that need, but it's simply not enough.
"We provide 500 family meals a month, but it's still not enough," Einstein says. "And a family could be two or three people, or it could be eight."
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While food banks around the city provide a total of 130,000 meals a day, they need 300,000 meals a day.
There are a lot of ways to get involved and help. The NTFB has strong purchasing power: every dollar given to the NTFB equals three meals.
As for the Vickery Meadow Food Pantry, there are donation bins at every entrance of Temple Emanu-El (8500 Hillcrest Road).