Swan church pastor says food pantry seeing 100 percent increase in need

Swan church pastor says food pantry seeing 100 percent increase in need
Published: Nov. 22, 2022 at 3:01 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 22, 2022 at 7:08 PM CST
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SWAN, Texas (KLTV) - With Thanksgiving fast approaching, East Texas families are preparing for the feasts. The First Baptist Church in Swan is trying to help those who cannot bring a turkey to the table.

On Tuesday, First Baptist Church in Swan gave away free turkeys and meals to families in need. People started lining up at 10 a.m. The food was distributed from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

“We want them to have a nice thanksgiving dinner with their family,” Pastor Jeremiah Dollgener said. Although this food drive focused on Thanksgiving meals, FBC hosts a distribution every Tuesday from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Pastor Jeremiah Dollgener said with inflation, the pantry has seen an increase in need exceeding 100% of the otherwise normal totals.

Last Tuesday, Nov. 15, FBC served 160 families, which was the most on one day since the program began in January 2020. In January of 2020, FBC served 15 families.

“It’s literally something that you would see out of the textbook of a history class for the Great Depression. It looks a little bit different now people have smart phones, and they didn’t have them back then, but it’s very much the same as people can’t eat,” Dollgener said.

Dollgener said the food pantry is open to anyone. “I see disabled people, I see people on social security, I see elderly people who have a choice to make, either ‘I’m going to buy my medicine this month’ or ‘I’m going to eat’ and they chose to by their medicine, they want to live and now they don’t have any food to eat.”

For Joyce Rosales, who said she has been searching for a job for two years, she said she has been visiting the pantry for six months and is grateful for the church’s help. “If I don’t come here, we don’t eat.”

Dollgener said the success of feeding every family that comes through the line is in thanks to donors, partnerships, and the volunteers. “We’re not only giving out food, we’re giving out hope.”

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