In February of 2012, after discovering that many of our neighbors along the Whitehurst Corridor were hungry for physical food, Feed Lake Highlands (FLH) opened their doors within the New Room Community Center, located at 10061 Whitehurst, and distributed 1000 pounds of food to 51 individuals. Growth in this program continues and in February of 2019, we distributed over 10,200 pounds of food to 725 individuals. Currently distribution occurs on 1st, 3rd and 4th Wednesdays from 1:30-6:30 pm. Come and check out the action!
In an effort to get more food onto the tables and into the kitchens of families living with food insecurity, the North Texas Food Bank (NTFB) created the Hub and Spoke Program. Hubs are large centrally located food distribution centers. Very large amounts of food are delivered to the Hubs by the NTFB on a regular basis which allows the Spokes to pick up their food at more convenient locations. More Spokes continue to sign on at various Hubs, enabling more food to be distributed to families and individuals needing these resources.
Our Hub is Sharing Life Community Outreach in Mesquite. Each Wednesday 3-4 vehicles, men and women meet at noon at the loading dock to pack up pallets of food, fresh produce and breads. A brand new addition to the FLH organization is a 2016 cargo van. Our pick up and food delivery will soon be streamlined with this one vehicle and driver! A team unloads, organizes and separates our food products along the lines of shopping tables. We strive to give nutritional food from the protein, grain, fruit and vegetable food groups.
Program and Team Members are greeted and given a name tag when they enter the building. Everyone wears a name tag because we want to call each other by names, not numbers or ‘Hey, you”. After signing in, families and individuals head to our “conversation pit” to wait their shopping turn. While waiting and visiting, our faith and community nurse offers to take blood pressures and give out health information. And no one leaves the pit hungry - home baked banana and zucchini bread slices are on the little table in the center!
Team Members of FLH push rolling carts alongside the Program Members and “shop” the food tables - all the while building relationships with each other. Program Members are learning about new vegetables and ways to prepare them. An educational and tasting component is the newest add-on for our program! When appropriate, we have prepared some of the food for members to see and taste. We would love to have recipe cards made for some of the produce we get that might not be familiar to many of our friends. We are all about establishing relationships with new foods, but most of all we are all about establishing relationships with people! A goal of FLH is to be a participatory ministry - doing life together and serving one another. Several years ago, Team Members learned a practical lesson about rolling carts from sweet CB, a Program Member, who always shopped with a rolling ice chest. We also have learned from our neighbors how to face adversity - how to persevere through difficult circumstances and how not to give up when you might want to.