SHELBY COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Another food pantry has opened their doors in Shelby County to try and provide food to the growing number of people in the community that need it. Tri County Community Action and the East Texas Food Bank have partnered to try and bridge the hunger gap.
Dozens of Shelby County residents stood in line Wednesday to get free, fresh produce but even as potatoes roll into boxes the number of people who don't know where their next meal is going to come from is growing.
"The need to eliminate hunger is very great and vast," said Brenda Allen, social services director with Tri County Community Action.
Tri County opened the "Harvest for Homes" food pantry in July. It's the fourth organization to offer some kind of food assistance in the county. The program allows qualified Shelby County residents to get food once every 30 days.
"We have can goods. We have staple foods. We have beans, rice, sugar, flour and things like that," Allen said. "In Shelby County alone, statistics show there were over 5,000 people that was hungry that were not being fed the nutritional value of the food that they needed."
That means that roughly 25 percent of the people in Shelby County needs help getting food.
"You have people that you may see every day and not know that they have no food in their homes," Allen said. "We're trying to give them at least something once a month to be able to eat. You have elderly people that worry about whether or not they should buy food or medicine and that's not something I want them to even think about."
Tri County partners with the East Texas Food Bank to stock their pantry and to give out produce once a month.
"As you can see people are lined up. It's hot but people need food so most people are willing to do what they need to do to suffice a need," Allen said. "They're able to get the great items they need again like vegetables, the nutritious items that's what's really great."
As fight to curb hunger continues, the agency will need more partnerships like the ones with Tyson and Feather Crest Farms in Center to meet the demand.