By SALLY SEXTON
For almost a month now, the Senior Center’s emergency food pantry has been nearly empty.
Glenda Webb, executive director for the Senior Center said that the pantry has been “bare bones” for about three weeks.
“We usually start getting low in the summer time and it just kind of carries over until we get on a real drive and get back into people’s minds,” she said. “We had planned to spend the entire month of November on a heavy collection drive for that purpose.”
Last Wednesday, however, the center received support from the Parker County Hospital District as well as Holland Lake Nursing Center, which organized a successful food drive to keep the Senior Center pantry afloat for a little while.
“They held a food drive that was phenomenal,” Webb said. “That will help enable us to get groceries out to our seniors for the next two weeks. We are so grateful.”
The center caters to persons 60 and over in Parker County and potential clients must fill out an application to show proof of need on a fixed income.
“The number of people we serve does vary, because seniors are proud, like anyone else,” Webb said. “It’s very rare that we get someone that really doesn’t need help.”
Items are already pre-bagged and ready to go for clients, and include staples such as peanut butter, crackers, cereal, dried beans and rice.
The Senior Center recommends donations that can be prepared for a one-dish meal, such as tuna, box dinners and canned vegetables or fruits.
“We suggest small, easy things, like the Hormel meals, because they can be prepared quickly and they have a lasting shelf life,” Webb said.
While the Senior Center gets a large portion of its supplies from donations, area organizations and businesses also assist in stocking the pantry. Webb said the Walmart in Hudson Oaks helps the center out three days a week with supplies including baking items and eggs. The center has also used the Tarrant Area Food Bank in the past, but recently stopped because of the demands of volunteers, a trailer to cart the items back and cost.
“I think there are several organizations going through a drought like we are,” Webb said. “We try and work together with those places, such as Center of Hope or Neighbors to Neighbors in Springtown. There are things we have in excess that we can’t get rid of quick enough and that have expiration dates, such as eggs. We share with them and they share with us.”
For anyone interested in donating, items may be dropped off at the Senior Center, 1225 Holland Lake Road, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Contact the center at 817-596-4640 for more ways to get involved.