Operations at The Center, Kaufman’s primary food pantry, are normal for now, but executive director Richard Dunn said he believes there will be an increased need for food.
The center, 400 S. Terrell Highway (Highway 34), served about 50 families Tuesday, about the usual number.
That number is likely to grow while food donations may shrink, Dunn said.
“Like everything, things are changing moment to moment,” he said.
The center’s shelves are stocked through donations from Walmart, other grocery stores and charitable groups. But the grocery stores, particularly Walmart, are concerned with keeping stocked and have less to give.
Dunn said this week’s donations from the three area Walmarts that serve the center were down slightly this week but were not unusually low.
He is somewhat concerned about coming weeks as the crisis continues. There are likely to be more families needing food and the stores may have to reduce donations.
“Our biggest concern is staying in stock for food, “he said. As the crisis goes into April, there may be problems.
Hourly workers who may be laid off may need more help and come to the center, he said.
He’s already had calls from restaurant owners saying they may have to close. They wanted to know if their employees could get food from the center.
“I told them we’d take care of them,” Dunn said.
The center is looking for donations of stock items, including canned vegetables and meats, peanut butter and macaroni and cheese.
Tuesday’s regular food distribution went well, he said.
Additional cleaning procedures were in place and a limited number of people were allowed in at a time. Cones kept groups separated.
“It was positive,” he said.
The board is already looking at changing the food distribution. New application forms are being considered and they may move to a drive-through system.
Currently, clients go into the building and pick up what they need from the shelves. With a drive-through, food would be packaged and handed to the people in their cars.
Additional volunteers will be needed if a drive-through service is implemented.
He said he hopes they don’t have to use that system because the staff enjoys talking to the clients.
The center distributes food on Tuesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. It’s open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday with staff.
The center is using social media to keep clients and the public updated. A video discussing needs is available at https://www.facebook.com/KaufmanChristianHelpCenter/
The phone number is (972) 932-8866.