Friday, October 24, 2014

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Harker Heights food pantry fills stomachs with bare shelves

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TWC News: Harker Heights food pantry fills stomachs with bare shelves
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The shelves are almost bare at one Central Texas food pantry.

The latest challenge facing the Harker Heights Food Care Center is struggling to keep up with the growing needs of the community.

Every Saturday for the last 11 years, the Harker Heights Food Care Center has put together food to be distributed to low income families in the area.

"It's kind of depressing to come in and see the shelves this way, knowing there is so many people that rely on this as a substitute and to balance out their food budget," Executive Director Linda Dawson said.

Lately, officials say it's becoming more and more difficult to meet the increasing needs of the community.

"Average household size we used to see was about three or four in a household. Now, we're seeing families with eight, 10. I even have one with 14," Dawson said.

More families are moving in under one roof to make ends meet.

"We don't know what we're going to do. Sometimes, I wish I could feed them all at my house but I can't do it," Volunteer Debrah Barkins said.

Each week they help feed 40 to 50 families and serve nearly 1,000 people a month.

"Typically we see a real increase in the summer, however this year we're not seeing that decrease dropping back off again," Dawson said.

With the holidays around the corner, they know the need will only get worse before it gets better.

"Every time we see the shelves getting low, I say ‘God, it's in your hands.’ Usually we get enough food in to help with that weekend and get it through. So you know, one day at a time," Dawson said.

Their supplies may be dwindling but their hope is not.

October is Make a Difference Month. Those at the food care center are pinning their hopes on the generosity of the community to get through the coming months.

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