Free food giveaway to aid local families
Addressing a growing need in Ellis County, the Dallas-based non-profit organization Hunger Busters will give away boxes of free produce and milk to families in the Waxahachie area on two dates in August.
Set for 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on both August 5 and August 20, 2020 at Ellis County Cowboy Church at 2374 West U.S. Highway 287 Bypass in Waxahachie, the event is intended to assist more than 500 families with fresh produce.
“We’ll have 24 pallets of produce and that typically can help feed up to about 768 families,” says Jason Garza, vice president of the organization. “It’s free to all first come first serve. Pretty much we’re just trying to help all those that are in need. We know that that many families are still not able to go to work and they’re not having any income. They’re still having problems with getting fresh produce or food into the house. So we’re here to step in and help them.”
Garza says the produce boxes contain a variety of common produce items, such as potatoes, carrots, onions and fruit that’s in season.
“They’ll come with either peaches. Sometimes they come with plums, sometimes they’ll come with oranges. So that fruit varies depending on the day or which week we’re in. And also it has a bag of pinto beans,” Garza adds. “This is actually coming from the USDA — it’s from the Farmers to Family Food Box.”
The Farmers to Family Food Box program is part of the USDA’s involvement in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act that was enacted earlier this year to bring assistance to those who’ve lost income due to the global pandemic. The pandemic response has caused the U.S. economy to decline and propelled the Ellis County unemployment rate to a 20-year high.
Hunger Busters is a Dallas-based charity focused on feeding children. Initially, the organization was providing 350,000 meals to 11 Dallas ISD schools and six after-school programs, but now organizers have broadened the scope of their work to include nearby communities.
Hunger Busters receives private donations and operates on private funding along with corporate grants.
Garza says there’s no criteria to meet to be eligible for the giveaway.
“We just get basic information — name, how many people are in their family — and then they’ll proceed on. They’ll have the trunk or wherever they want the food open, and then we’ll just place the boxes in their vehicle and then they can just take off from there,” Garza says.