A Mansfield-area food bank calls for North Texas food banks and pantries to work together to help struggling families impacted by the government shutdown.
Food banks and food pantries in North Texas report that they are now feeling full-force the predicted impact of the federal government shutdown. Organizations that already help hundreds of thousands of Texans keep food on the table each year are being confronted daily by an entirely new clientele.
“Literally the calls are coming in from the furloughed workers,” said Rick Bousquet, the director of strategic planning and marketing for Harvesting International in Mansfield. The church-supported ministry has been operating as both a food bank and food pantry for more than 20 years, distributing food and supplies to dozens of different churches and food-support agencies. And Wednesday some of its new clientele included workers from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). They loaded a bulk quantity of food and supplies from Harvesting International into pickup trucks to take back to an estimated 50 DFW-area CBP employees in need because they have been working without pay.
A growing trend that led Harvesting International to announce that it will offer to facilitate a meeting among North Texas area food banks and pantries this Friday morning. They hope to have a hand in coordinating efforts to best help government employees throughout the region.
“And if this thing keeps going on, it’s going to deplete resources really quick,” Bousquet said. “It’s critical for all the food banks and food pantries in North Texas to come together, get on the same page, and tackle this together.”