Monday, July 10, 2006

Demand for assistance grows along with poverty

The Resource Center on Haskell Avenue is a place of hope, healing and friendship for thousands of families. In addition to being the highest volume food pantry in Dallas County, the Resource Center provides a thrift store to the community.

Each year, over 300 people who use the pantry's services come back to volunteer. In fact, over 95% of the people who volunteer at our food pantry also use its services. This is the unique genius of the Resource Center.

"We don't have clients. We have neighbors. Partnering with our neighbors, we are building a genuine community right here in the inner city," says Terry Beer, Director of the Resource Center (pictured here with his team members).

The volunteer team in the Resource Center, along with the thousands of neighbors they serve, has become the "think tank" of first resort as CDM has developed its various programs and community efforts. Listening to our volunteers and to those who come daily seeking our assistance has guided the growth of CDM across the past 12 years.

After the hurricanes of 2005, the Central Dallas Food Pantry was named the American Red Cross' first referral for families in need of emergency food, as well as the priority pantry for the 2-1-1 Social Services Line.

Already the largest food pantry in Dallas County, the program has grown tremendously over the past year, as these graphs reveal. Need is way up. The numbers are growing because poverty in Dallas County is growing.

1 comment:

MommyHAM said...

Larry, those charts could be right out of the grant proposals my city's office saw this year - and we are in CO!

The need is growing everywhere, and what's sad is our biggest local housing assistance agency noted that so many of the growing poor are those from the "middle class," those that traditionally, don't know their ways around the "system." These folks are falling through the cracks as much or more than those in serious poverty - uggh, I hate to say that. Any time people have to make difficult decisions re: bills to pay or not pay is "serious," regardless of background, know what I mean?

Colorado just passed legislation that is going to add to this.

Tough times ahead....