DENTON -- Kimberly Sawler is in a hurry.
She makes her way to the rear of a white delivery truck and rattles open the door. She then steps up and walks all the way to the back where there’s a handful of Rubbermaid containers.
The mother of three needs to makes one last food delivery to an elementary school in Denton before time runs out.
Kimberly started Food for the Soul with her husband, Bob, back in 2009. Their non-profit gives food to hungry children across North Texas.
She recently learned they can no longer use the warehouse where they store, sort and distribute food. They’ve already cleared out the warehouse, and what’s left in the truck is last of the food. And without a warehouse, their program comes to a crashing halt.
“I can’t imagine that next week when they go, ‘hey, where’s my backpack food’ and they’re not gonna get it,” Kimberly said. “Yeah. My heart is broken.”
Each weekend, Food for the Soul gives students in need backpacks of food to get them through to Monday. The food bags contain six meals and four snacks, totaling 24,000 meals and 16,000 snacks – every month.
On Friday, her last stop was the North Texas Collegiate Academy where 33 percent of the students receive free or reduced lunch. But the need doesn’t stop there.
“There’s 33-percent of this group that are homeless, not even just hungry,” Kimberly said. ““They can possibly go without food from lunch on Friday to breakfast at school on Monday, and that’s 65 hours without food.”
Fifth-grader Anaya Jackson is one of the students here who takes home food.
“Sometimes we just don’t have enough money to get as much food as we need,” she said. “I doubt that if I didn’t (go) to this school I wouldn’t get bags of food on Friday to take home.”
Anaya’s classmate, Cody Simmons, says his family might not eat without the food packs.
“It would be harder on everybody,” he said. “We would all struggle.”
One in six children across the country goes to bed hungry. Kimberly said, in North Texas, some areas have a 100 percent hunger rate.
With a deadline looming, she has an urgent request. They are looking for 5,000 to 10,000 square feet of donated warehouse space so they can keep things going.
“We’re just giving them a little bag of hope. But it fills their bellies up. And it makes them happy,” Kimberly said. “We need help. We need warehouse space so we can order the food and complete the rest of the school year.”