Eighty percent of people who receive assistance from the Downtown Food Pantry have reported in a survey they regularly have anxiety about being able to feed their household.
“Food insecurity is a significant issue in the Paris area,” said executive director Allan Hubbard. “That means everything from rationing the amount of food in the house to make it last all the way to the extreme of not knowing where your next meal is coming from.”
The Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) recently conducted surveys of pantry clients and received some eye-opening answers. Seventy percent of respondents said they limit the amount of food for their family due to what they can afford.
But on a positive note, 81 percent reported their food insecurity and anxiety was helped by going to the pantry.
“I don’t know what we would do without the pantry,” wrote one person. “The volunteers are so kind, and they make you feel at ease and not ashamed.”
With inflation causing higher costs of nearly all goods in the United States, principally noticed in food costs in grocery stores, every little bit helps.
“I’m alone and need help. The pantry has been my main source of groceries for four years now since I lost my husband,” wrote another person.
Lamar County’s food insecurity rate is 23%, the highest of 13 counties in the North Texas region. Downtown Food Pantry’s board of directors plus a myriad of financially donating churches, individuals, businesses and grant-awarding foundations are working to alleviate that.
Clients are able to receive food every other week and choose items their household will eat from a wide variety of canned staples, fresh produce, frozen meat, plus milk, bread and lunchmeat.
“Lots of our volunteers are RSVP members and we have a great partnership with them,” Hubbard said. “These surveys show those volunteers are making a difference right here at home.”
For more information, visit downtownfoodpantry.org or call Hubbard at 903-737-8870.
Photo: RSVP volunteer Jim Walls (left) and pantry board member Steve Smith bag potatoes in preparation for a food serving day at Downtown Food Pantry.