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Longview food pantry struggling to have enough to feed residents

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Published: May. 17, 2022 at 12:29 PM CDT|Updated: May. 17, 2022 at 7:37 PM CDT
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LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - Those who help are in need of help. The Dream Center in Longview’s Lifesource Food Pantry is struggling to keep up with East Texas families’ needs. And donations of food and immediate needs items are down.

Vicki Zahn is the Pantry Director of the Longview Dream Center and says pantry supply is barely meeting demand.

“People are scared. People are losing their jobs. Gas is high, high, high and they can’t feed their families, so they come to the Dream Center. And we’re thrilled. That’s why we’re here,” Zahn said.

She says the number of people they are helping has doubled in the last two years, and donations are down.

“And it’s not just Dream Center specific. They are low across the board at all food pantries,” Zahn said.

She says during the holidays there are a lot of donations, but it tends to slow down the rest of the year. She says now donations are down more than usual from all sources.

“The stores that donate to us don’t have the extra so our donations from them are lower,” Zahn said.

She says they haven’t had to tell anyone they are out of food. That’s partly because there are limits on what clients can get. Cynthia and Rickey Gunter say they need a little help now and then.

“At the end of the month when everything starts getting low, low this helps a lot. Helps you to make it on to the next month,” Rickey said.

Rickey says he was once on the other side of donating.

“I came up where I was able to give, and I gave as much as I could. And a lot of times we don’t see where giving makes a difference. But it does make a difference,” Rickey said.

Zahn says there are times she wonders how the shelves will fill the next day, but so far, it’s working out.

“I just thank God that someone had a heart to give,” Rickey said.

Rickey hopes the giving will continue.

The Dream Center is located at 803 Gilmer Road in Longview. They are open to those in need on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and allow anyone to shop once a month. If you want to donate, contact the Dream Center to set up a time.

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