Volunteers with the Harker Heights Food Care Center are asking for the community’s help to keep the shelves from going bare.
The small, nonprofit food pantry has helped thousands of families in need for more than a decade-9,000 people last year alone. Food distribution totaled a quarter of a million pounds.
To some families, a single sack of groceries isn't very much, but to volunteers trying to restock empty shelves, the new inventory feeds an empty belly.
"We've helped people from as far away as Salado, Belton, Temple, Killeen, Copperas Cove," Director Linda Dawson said.
Dawson told YNN the demand for food increases during the summer with children home from school.
"We have some families that only come during the summer time looking for help. The rest of the year, they are doing fine,” she said.
It's estimated one out of every five people in Harker Heights lives below the poverty line.
"Some of them walk blocks to get here and carry their groceries home in a little wagon," Dawson said.
It’s not just children who can benefit from donations.
"I really didn't want to come here,” Georgia Beadles said. “I was ashamed to do it.”
Beadles volunteers her time with the same nonprofit that made sure she didn't go hungry when times were tough.
"That's the lowest thing I ever wanted to do was beg for food, it made me feel bad,” Beadle said. “But you know what makes me feel good that I can turn around and help others."
The center operates out of the First Baptist Church in Harker Heights located on 100 E. Ruby Road. Cash or food donations can be dropped off at the center. Every 15 cents of donated money can buy a pound of food from the center’s partner Capital Area Food Bank.
For more information about donating, contact the center at (254)768-2061.