In this season of gratitude, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the many organizations and volunteers who have dedicated their time and effort to ensure all Denton County residents have access to the food they need for their families.
We sometimes take it for granted when we prepare our evening meals, taking items from our often packed refrigerators and filled-to-the-brim cupboards, that there are families amongst us who have tough choices to make – paying for rent to keep a roof over their heads or pay for groceries.
Some of us have experienced the pangs of hunger in our lives and understand all too well how fortunate we are today. Others have often donated to local pantries, sharing their bounties with others.
And then there are those individuals who spend hours each day, week, and month unloading donations, separating groceries, repacking boxes, and meeting with individuals in need to ensure they have what they need. These individuals deserve our sincere thanks and continued support for the work they do.
In Denton County, we have been blessed with the opportunity to help our local pantries during the pandemic and now during these economically challenging times. In August 2020, we launched the Feeding Denton County food box program to provide 3,000 25-lb. boxes of fresh fruits and vegetables to our food pantries across Denton County. The efforts of Keith and Kassandra Copp of Duck Creek Farm are amazing. Each week, they procure an assortment of fruits and vegetables from local, regional, and national growers to create a box of at least 13 separate items to feed a family for a week. We are so thankful for their knowledge and dedication.
Our food pantries, from north to south and east to west, have continued to open their doors to those in need. In a recent meeting, I learned the need continues to grow even now with 10 to 25 percent of new families seeking food each week.
As prices soared, we realized the need to help supplement the protein needs at our food pantries, earmarking $350,000 from the American Rescue Plan federal funds to allow them to purchase turkeys, hams, chicken, beef, cheese, and milk to supplement their offerings.
Our fervent wish is that all of our Denton County families can sit around the table at Thanksgiving filled with a bountiful supply of food so that they can share in this universal moment of cherishing each other and being thankful for what they have.
I hope, during this season, if you have a few extra hours or a few additional groceries, you will consider volunteering your time or donating to a local pantry. Together, we can make a difference, and, together, we stand strong.