WACO, TX — There’s been an outpouring of support for those in our community who find themselves struggling to put food on the table in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Two Central Texas organizations were examples of that earlier today, partnering together to bring smiles to the hungry. It all started with the simple snapping of a plastic grocery bag.
Then, volunteers with the Salvation Army and Shepherd's Heart Food Pantry filled up those bags (and boxes) for a group of handicapped elderly residents who are the most at risk to COVID-19.
"When there's not a pandemic going on, they're able to go to the grocery store and shop and whatever. But right now, whatever we bring to them is what they get to eat," said Major Jim Taylor regarding the residents at the Catherine Booth Garden apartments in Waco.
When residents received self-distancing orders a month ago, Taylor and others with the two organizations created an alternative plan for the monthly food delivery to the apartment complex.
"So instead of the residents coming down to a general gathering area and selecting their items, which obviously is the best option, the better option, the safe option is that we take it to them," he said.
Because of the shelter-in-place orders, residents weren't able to receive food last month. So today, for nearly 80 households, the timing of these donations couldn't be better.
One resident we spoke with said, "It helps considerably. It's definitely helpful."
He added, "I'm beginning to see something I hadn't seen before. People are coming out and actually helping a lot more than they have been...and that's a positive thing. People are starting to think about their fellow man more."
By meeting the health and safety guidelines of the CDC and the City of Waco (by wearing masks and gloves), volunteers get to continue to provide a vital service to these grateful residents.
Chaplain Edward Norris-McCollum said visiting these residents (while delivering food) is a blessing for both the residents and volunteers.
"When I knock on the door, they're ready to see somebody because they're not talking to nobody and they appreciate it. I don't get to stay long, but just saying hello to you, do you need a word of prayer...they are ready for us to be there," he said.
And being there is what these Hidden Heroes have done each month.