LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - The East Texas Food Bank held a produce distribution at the Gregg County Fairgrounds in Longview Friday.
A volunteer coordinator said they have delivered produce to around 1,000 families Friday morning. They began shortly before 8 a.m. and have seen around 1,500 cars sometimes with multiple families in each car.
Volunteer coordinator Carroll Greenwaldt said last spring, when the COVID-19 pandemic was beginning, the East Texas Food Bank came to them and said they would like to start holding food distributions in Longview.
“Because food insecurity here has gone from one out of four people in the Gregg County area to one out of three,” Greenwaldt said. “Food insecurity means you don’t know where your next meal is coming from.”
Greenwaldt said there was a line of vehicles waiting for the distribution to get underway as he was arriving before 8 a.m. He said they get a lot of grateful reactions.
“We hear a lot of words, bless you for what you are doing, God bless you, thank you so much, we’ve had some in tears that said they did not know where their next meal was coming from. This is really a crucial need, it’s being served by volunteers from across Longview,” he said.
Greenwaldt said they estimate through the food bank’s counts that since April of last year, they have served over 25,000 people and more than 200,000 pounds of food has been distributed.
The next food distribution event at the Gregg County Fairgrounds will be held on Friday, Apr. 9 from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. The East Texas Food Bank will also be holding food distributions in Tyler on Friday, Mar. 19 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Lindsey Park as well as one in Lufkin on Tuesday, Apr. 6 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the George H. Henderson Expo Center.