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Mobile food pantry comes to Longview

Published: Jun. 10, 2022 at 12:30 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 10, 2022 at 4:54 PM CDT
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LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - The response in Longview to the East Texas Food Bank’s Mobile Pantry surprised many volunteers. Vehicles were lined up for the equivalent of several blocks, but they didn’t have to wait long.

First United Methodist Church Volunteer Steve Jones says the mobile food pantry was set up quickly, and this time around there was hamburger meat.

“Apparently the word got out because there are lots of folks here to get the meat,” Jones said.

East Texas Food Bank Mobile Pantry Manager Tabitha Johnson says they were well prepared with hamburger meat.

“We brought out enough meat for a little over 800 families,” Johnson said.

And they weren’t handing out a pound per family. It was a bag of four pounds.

“I anticipate that we’ll run out more quickly when I look at the number of boxes versus the number of people in line, this looks like a busy day for the East Texas Food Bank,” Jones said.

But this was not a slow-moving line, they had three lanes serving two cars at a time with more volunteers.

“I would say a lot of times we have twenty or so but adding extra groups and community organizations it’s really bumped it up and lets us serve more people faster,” Johnson said.

Sheila Johnson and her neighbor Mary Burns, like the rest in line, were at the Longview Fairgrounds early.

“Well, with gas prices and the cost of food going up so much, you can hardly afford to feed your family anything,” Sheila Johnson said.

They got the last of the beef available in their line.

“I picked up and brought her because she didn’t have gas to come down here. You’ve got to help each other these days,” Sheila Johnson said.

And about an hour after the pantry started, they hit one thousand giveaways.

“That’s the first time we broke a thousand in over a year. Usually, our numbers here are around five, six hundred and this month it was really high. So, we just know there is a great need right now,” Tabitha Johnson said.

“I’m really glad to live in a country where we have enough food to give away, and people who will come out and give their time to be able to facilitate that,” Jones said.

By about 9:45 a.m. there wasn’t much left but empty pallets.

The East Texas Food Bank made it easy to find their next Mobile Pantry. Just select “Find Food” and enter your county, after clicking here.

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