Thursday, June 12, 2008

The urban poor need your help in these tough times

For nearly two decades, Central Dallas Ministries has operated one of the highest volume food pantries in North Texas. In the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, our Resource Center was named the "food pantry of first referral" by the American Red Cross.

Yet even the fury of those storms pales in comparison to what we are seeing on the ground today: our Community Resource Center has witnessed a 37% increase in the number of unduplicated families and a 44% spike in the number of unduplicated individuals who are coming to us for assistance compared to this same time last year.

We are now seeing more families -- and larger families -- than ever before in the history of our work as the largest food pantry in Dallas... and we are seeing them more often.

Compared to the same period last year, we have distributed a lot more food products--up from 167,049 pounds in 2007 to 241,955 through the end of May this year, an amazing increase of 45% more food sent home with working families, disabled men and women, little children and our homeless brothers and sisters.

This latest data tells us:

  • Agapito Perez and his staff are doing an amazing job in our Resource Center, thanks in great part to our team over 300 community volunteers, a group that still relies on us for food.

  • We need to raise more money to keep pace with the rising demand among our neighbors whose spending power continues to shrink due to increased costs for fuel, utilities, food stuffs and housing.

  • Finally, we must get more food down in our pipeline because currently we provide only 11 pounds of food per person (about 3 days supply according to USDA).
    1. So, today I'm shamelessly looking for people who will agree to one or all of these options:

      a. Send a monthly donation via credit card or automatic bank transfers in support of our emergency food relief efforts. Every dollar that you donate helps us to provide six meals to hungry families.

      Here's an approach that makes sense to me. Why not decide to make a monthly gift equal to a predetermined % of your own monthly grocery bill? Sit down and figure out what you can do. Monthly gifts of 5-10% of you grocery costs would make a huge difference.

      Whatever you decide about the amount of your monthly gift, your support will help us

      b. Spread the word in your communities of interest about this growing need in inner city Dallas--work, neighborhood, church, scout troop, social/civic club, etc. Start right now by forwarding this post to as many friends as you can. See if you can get us an invitation to speak to your group with the understanding upfront and in advance that we need funding! Don't ask us to speak unless you understand that we need to "pass the hat."

      c. Make a one-time, sacrificial gift to Central Dallas Ministries earmarked for our Food Pantry Resource Center.

      d. Check out our video about the food pantry and see for yourself what life is like for the urban poor.

      Community is about pulling together. It is about solidarity with those in need. Please help us today:

    2. Every $1 secures 6 meals for hungry families.

    3. A $25 monthly donation will provide enough food to feed a family of four for nearly half a year.

    4. A $100 one-time gift will purchase more than $1,000 worth of food.
      • To set up a monthly gift by credit card or automatic bank draft, click here.

        To make a one-time gift online, click here.

        Or, if you prefer, make your checks payable to Central Dallas Ministries and mail to the attention of "Resource Center," Central Dallas Ministries, P. O. Box 710385, Dallas, Texas 75371-0385.

        Thank you for considering urgent appeal. Together, we can help end hunger in the homes of our neighbors.



        Anonymous said...

        So, Larry, where are all the good church people who always tell you and the rest of us that "the churches should care for the poor?"

        Makes me wonder.

        Sorry, if I've grown cynical.

        I'll send you $100 today.

        Larry James said...

        Anon 11:57 a.m., don't be too hard on my friends of faith. I have confidence that some will respond to help us out. Time will tell and I'll report out soon on our progress.

        Anonymous said...


        My struggle is we are seeing the same things here. We cut a check to Standing in the Gap a couple of weeks ago.

        Larry James said...

        Good show, newheights! I know they appreciated it, and even more those they encounter daily.