ABILENE, TX (KRBC/KTAB) – Feeding those in need through a pandemic, you think it’d be as easy as filling up a couple of plates of food or handing out some groceries. But for Patty Stewart, it’s the commitment not to think of herself but her surrounding community.
“But then I see little kids out here wandering around and it made me think of my mom,” she said.
For the last 20 years, Patty said she’s been making bags and giving out food and snacks, but to follow closer in her mom’s footsteps, she decided to start her own neighborhood food bank.
“And then I moved this out here a couple of days ago, filled it up and that’s what got this all started,” she said.
She said the extra few bucks in her pocket also made it easier, originally receiving $40 a month of food stamps, but due to COVID-19, and an extra $300 dollars was added.
“I want to take that money and share it and give back to people who do need it,” she said.
Retired Pastor Iziar Lankford of Mission on the Move Soup Kitchen said for the past 10 years, they’ve served 180 to 200 people every Tuesday. But he said because of COVID-19 he’s seen some new faces.
“That tells me that their folks that are furlough. Folks whose hours have been cut, folks that have been laid off,” he said.
Averaging $300 dollars a week, Pastor Lankford said donations help immensely, but with most funding coming out of his own pocket, it’s getting harder to fund.
“When you have an increase in the need and decrease in income, yes it becomes more difficult,” he said.
But even if they have to struggle just a bit for someone else to have a little, it’s worth it said Patty, especially when she gets left thank you notes from the kids in her neighborhood.
Patty said feel free to come by and stock the pantry yourself located on the corner of South 3rd street and Chapel Hill. All she asks is the foods be non-perishable or canned.