By Libby Cluett
New Haven Helping Hands is preparing for what many call a serious food shortage this season.
“There is a tremendous food storage,” said New Haven Ministries Executive Director Jim Rhodes. “With the economy the way it is, we’re seeing a drastic increase in the number of families that qualify for our services.”
New Haven Helping Hands, the only USDA certified provider in the county, helps provide groceries for 1,200 people per month throughout Palo Pinto County and Rhodes is concerned about their stock and availability to replenish through area food banks.
“We are not going to make it through the season without having more canned goods,” he said.
They are in dire need of non-perishable canned foods like canned meat, canned vegetables and canned fruit.
Rhodes said they distribute nearly 2,000 to 3,000 pounds of food per week from the Mineral Wells location as well as through the mobile food bank, which travels to Gordon, Mingus and Strawn once a month and to Graford and Possum Kingdom on the fourth Saturday of the month. On the second Tuesday of each month, New Haven delivers groceries to homebound residents in Mineral Wells.
Located at 115 S.W. 3rd St. in Mineral Wells, New Haven Helping Hands is open for distribution three days a week – Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. They are there to accept, sort and prepare food bags for distribution every day except Sunday, during the same hours.
As of Tuesday, several area businesses have offered to help by providing space for food-collection canisters. Retailers helping include Wal-Mart, Metro and Blockbuster Video. Additionally several individuals and groups are trying to help, like St. Marks Lutheran Church, Clark Gardens and Operation Give.
Blockbuster Video is not only collecting food, store manager Rachel Schultz said they offer an incentive – bring in five canned food items and receive free DVD rental – through the end of the month.
Director calls situation worst he’s seen in 22 years.
By Libby Cluett
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