Combating Hunger with Our Food Pantries

Aug 9, 2023 | by The Salvation Army

For our North Texas neighbors experiencing poverty and homelessness, the effects of inflation and the lingering impacts of the pandemic have been devastating. Thousands are living in survival mode, trying to cover the continuously rising costs of rent, child care, transportation, and more. Many have been left with hopelessly difficult decisions about their budgets, like keeping the utilities on or putting food on the table.


Last year, grocery inflation in Dallas-Fort Worth was 14.03%, the highest out of 17 major cities in the U.S., behind only Detroit (14.49%).1 Food prices in the region have increased around 2% each year since 2013, with prices skyrocketing 11% from 2021 to 2022.


This leaves low-income households, who spend around 30% of their total income on food, most vulnerable.


Carl and Dorothy, for instance, are lifelong residents of Oak Cliff whose lives were drastically disrupted by the pandemic. The couple, who has been married for 43 happier-than-ever years, both became sick with COVID, and Carl was forced to take time off without pay from his job as a clerk at a local hardware store. The virus had lasting effects, and both struggled to recover.


Left feeling hopeless, Carl and Dorothy turned to a staple in their community, a place where they knew they could find the essential resources for long-term stability: The Salvation Army.


For two years, Carl has visited the food pantry at the Oak Cliff Corps Community Center weekly to pick up food boxes that are vital to his and Dorothy’s economic stability. The Salvation Army’s drive-thru and curbside food pantries, located across the region, provide nutritious meals to help those in need maintain their independence and avoid food insecurity.


To Carl, the food pantry organizer is an “angel in waiting.”

“I did my best, I really did, but without this food, we probably could not have paid our mortgage or maybe even the utility bill,” Carl said. “This food is helping me catch up, you know, so I can get back on my feet.”


Currently, The Salvation Army of North Texas’ 12 food pantries are feeding 10,000 people per week. Most importantly, they are meeting a new generation of need in the region at a time when our neighbors need help more than ever.


1 Source: Food Prices: Information on Trends, Factors, and Federal Roles | U.S. Government Accountability Office | March 28, 2023.

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