North Lufkin non-profit hosts second annual game show style food giveaway

Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - North Lufkin, non-profit group, J.D. Hope Center of North Lufkin attempted to not only lighten the load, but the spirits of their community Saturday, by hosting their second annual "Shop Until You Drop" grocery giveaway.

Contestants were given a minute to fill up there buggy and their bags with as much canned and dry goods as possible.

But, even though the mood is light, the food taken from the event is necessary for many of those in attendance, including Felicia Polk, who recently went blind.

"There's limited things that I can do and where I can go," Polk said.  "And, the Hope Center helps me."

The center donates groceries to the community every month, but this annual event allowed a much bigger takeaway.

"It's a great help to low income people," said contestant, Karen Strickland.

The event was open to everyone.

"It's not based on your color, it's based on your heart," said contestant, Mary Smith. "And, they'll help anybody."

The director of the center, Stephanie Olford, said she was excited by the turnout of over 120 people.

"That's what our heart and our compassion is to serve the community," Olford said.

Olford added that the game show style helps people participate in community outreach.

"We try to get out there to find out what the community likes," Olford said. "We like to be different. We don't want to duplicate anything. We like to be creative."

But, Olford said it all boils down to helping people meet a basic need.

"Some people may not have a meal," Olford said. "Some people may no be able to get the money to get a meal, so that's why we're here to do what we need to do."

And, one resident said she plans on returning the favor.

"The more they help me, the more I can help somebody else," Polk said.

Contestants were also sent home with a bottle of detergent, hygiene products, and meat goods like bacon and ground beef.

This and all of the canned and dry goods were donated by United Way, the T.L.L. Temple Foundation, the Kurth Foundation, and the United States Postal Service.

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