“Homeless and starving.”
This is what Debra says brought her to the Marillac Food Pantry. When her disability status changed unexpectedly, she found herself experiencing hunger and homelessness.
“I would hang out near gas stations,” said Debra. “Some days I would get lucky, and somebody would pass by and buy me a hotdog or something.”
Debra now lives with her brother and his three young children. “He can’t afford to feed me and his crew,” she explains, so their arrangement requires she supply her own food. She moved in just a few months ago, and “As long as I get my own food,” Debra says, “then I’m all right.”
While talking, lively music from down the hall can be heard. Senior neighbors gather here daily for meals, activities and services. Posted just outside the pantry is a flyer for flu shots. The squealing of a cart heavy with food suddenly overpowers the music. A pantry volunteer helps a client guide the cart outside. Today the pantry shelves display bags of fresh carrots, potatoes, peppers, radishes and grapes. Stored in refrigerators nearby are milk and meat. Cardboard boxes filled with food line the back wall. Inside are beans, bags of brown rice and other shelf-stable items.
In North Texas, nearly 800,000 neighbors are food-insecure, and do not know where they will find their next meal. Every day, the North Texas Food Bank ensures that healthy foods are accessible to community members like Debra.