The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Food drive combats hunger in Arlington

Elder White and Osmar Castino load boxes of food into the trunk of a passing pickup. The event was sponsored by Arlington Charities and Tarrant Area Food Bank.

Lydia Regalado
campus editor

What started as a cold, empty lot with a few short rows of cars turned into a spirit of community as volunteers and missionaries joined together to help distribute food to over 400 families in need on SE campus.

The mobile pantry opened to all visitors for the first time this year at this location. Missionaries from around the country worked with Arlington Charities and the Tarrant Area Food Bank to fill empty trunks of cars with boxes of food and water.

The mobile pantry, which will continue to make its way to SE Campus every third Friday of the month, is open to everyone, regardless of income or residence.

Some needed food for their families while others were there for neighbors and those unable to leave their homes.

Visitor Julio Casablanca was there to pick up food for his grandmother, who he said could not attend because of the pandemic.

“I won’t directly benefit from what I’m picking up myself, but it will definitely benefit others,” Casablanca said.

Arlington Charities volunteer Gail Longell said grocery stores such as Costco, Sam’s, Kroger, Walmart, Spec’s and Penzeys are among those donating foods and spices for the pantries.
Longell enjoys giving to give and used to volunteer once a week but started volunteering five days a week since the pandemic began.

“People need to eat,” Longell said. “We try to do the best we can with fresh produce as well as staples and meat.”

In addition to the mobile food pantry, Arlington Charities gives back to the community in other ways as well, she said.

“We feed the homeless three days a week. We also take care of some housing problems like utilities,” Longell said. “We also have home delivery for those who do not have vehicles. We deliver once a month to senior living places.”

Elder Tenney and Elder Jones await the next vehicles with boxes in hand.

Missionaries from states across the country including Utah, Nevada and Arizona did much of the heavy lifting. For missionaries like Elder Kendal Jones and Nolan Tenney, giving to others is what it’s all about.

“This is why we’re out here. We’re here to help and we know we’re here for a reason during this time of need,” Jones said. “We absolutely love it.”

Visitors rolled by, stopping for the missionaries and volunteers who loaded several packs of water and a box of food into trunks and truck beds. Even though there was little verbal communication, a sense of gratitude was shared in the open space.

“It’s hard times going on right now, so I figure we could help out and spread a little bit of happiness, a little bit of joy while doing it,” Tenney said. “I feel like we get a lot more out of it than they do honestly.”

The next mobile pantry on SE campus will take place April 16th and continue every third Friday for the remainder of the year. No appointment is necessary, and all visitors are welcome.

Executive director of Arlington Charities Deborah Coppola said there are several additional locations where folks can find mobile food pantries including the Arlington Charities location every fourth Friday of the month and St. Andrews Methodist Church every second Saturday of the month. Those interested in finding more information can visit the Arlington Charities and Tarrant Area Food Bank’s websites for more information.

Amber Davis/The Collegian

Editorial-How much money does one man need
Before Jeff Bezos stepped down as CEO of Amazon on Feb. 2, the company made him one of the richest people in the world. His net worth was $192.4 billion as of Feb. 8, according to Forbes.


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