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Mobile food distribution canceled due to weather

By Naomi Prioleau
Feb. 11, 2014 at 10 p.m.

Bad weather Tuesday caused organizers to cancel the first distribution from the mobile food pantry for Marshall.

The threat of inclement weather was enough for officials at the East Texas Food Bank to call recipients of food boxes and tell them not to come out to the Texas and Louisiana Baptist District Association to receive them.

"(Monday) was when we decided to reschedule the mobile food pantry and senior box distributions," communications director for the East Texas Food Bank, Carolyn Davis said. "The staff contacted seniors letting them know not to go out in the inclement weather and we were calling people and letting them know."

The new program has been designed to help provide nutritious meals to residents throughout the Marshall area with each box containing foods such as meat, vegetables, fruit, rice, beans, bread and pastas.

Mobile pantry coordinator, Michelle Rodriguez echoed Davis's sentiments about the safety of their staff and those who wanted food boxes.

"Since it's an outside distribution, with the mixed precipitation we were worried about our trucks and those who were coming out, especially the elderly," she said.

Future distributions will be on a first come first serve basis and those who wish to receive meals will need to fill out an application to do so. If a resident makes less than 185 percent of the poverty level-$21,257 or less for a household of one; $28,694 or less for a household of two; $36,131 or less for a household of three; $43,568 or less for a household of four and so on-he or she qualifies.

Though the mobile pantry isn't new to the Food Bank, it is new to the Marshall area. Davis said working in collaboration with Mission Marshall and the Texas and Louisiana Baptist District Association is what helped in bringing the pantry to Marshall.

"Marshall is in one of our counties that we know the need is high and have a great partnership with Mission Marshall, that does a fabulous job," she said. "We also had Texas and Louisiana Baptist District Association who reached out wanting to do something with the community as well. We're very happy to be able to partner with others in the community."

She added that she hopes that, in time, Marshall will be able to handle the truck on its own.

"Our hope is to gain more partners in the area so eventually they can take it on themselves," Davis said. "Until then we will continue to bring the food in and hand it out in the back of our truck."

The food distribution has been rescheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 25 at the Texas and Louisiana Baptist District Association located at 2907 Karnack Hwy 43 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Afterwards, the monthly distribution is set to take place on every second Tuesday.

For more information call the food bank at (903) 597-3663.



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