Central Texas food pantries see more than usual for holiday - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

Central Texas food pantries see more than usual for holiday

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WACO -

Thanksgiving is upon us and Central Texas food pantries kept busy Wednesday.

This year some pantries were expecting more people because of cuts to the food stamp program.

"It's really a blessing to come down here and they donate the food and it's really good," said customer Jimmy Alexander.

Shepherds Heart Pantry in Waco were expecting up to 100 more families this holiday. It was nothing but smiles and positive energy throughout the pantry. People eagerly waiting in line to get their Thanksgiving food. Potatoes, bread, canned goods and even desserts filled everyone's carts.

"I got banana pudding. Some pudding and I think it's a really good thing," Alexander said.

"Executive Director Bob Gager took notice of the food stamp cuts before they even started on November 1st. 

"We're seeing over 220 families coming into the pantry each month for the past three months," Sager said. "Instead of seeing 50 clients a week, we're up to 65 new clients a week, so I'm seeing increases like that."

Many pantries in the state like Shepherds are implementing a system known as Homeless Information Management System(HIMS) which started in the summer.

People who come into the pantry fill out paper work before they can get food, and that data could lead to more money for pantries.

"We can report back to the federal government and the state government for what we are doing so we can qualify for more block grants and things like that."

But for now the pantry will continue to impact the Waco community, filling the store with food and wonderful volunteers.

"Its been really beneficial to me and people I help, we have a relationship now," said volunteer Taro Johnson. "We go and see them every Thursday and I enjoy doing it. We have a good time with it."

Shepherds along with other pantries are expecting to see an increase of people as the months progress. Especially during the winter months.

"Donations and volunteers that allowed us to do it, there are people who come in with a small donation and say, 'It's not much but we want to help'," said Gager. 

 

 

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