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New mobile food pantry brings fresh foods to some Dallas food deserts

'It's a game changer': Catholic Charities Dallas and North Texas Food Bank partner to bring Mobile Community Pantries and healthy options to communities in need.

DALLAS — Catholic Charities of Dallas and North Texas Food Bank are partnering to bring fresh and healthy groceries to neighbors living in food deserts across greater Dallas.

The organizations are partnering in a Mobile Community Pantry project. The initiative is sending two trucks filled with a variety fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy, and other grocery items to several distribution sites.

“One line,” said volunteer Lari Newman-Williams as she checked in Tuesday with residents lined outside Holy Cross Catholic Church on Tuesday. “One line. Good morning.”

More than 100 neighbors gathered outside the Holy Cross Catholic Church in the Kessler Heights area of southern Dallas.

“Good morning,” Bishop Edward Burns said as he greeted everyone in line.

Seniors, families, and people from all walks of life lined up outside the Mobile Community Pantry truck to get free fresh foods and groceries.

“It’s convenient,” said neighbor Karon Whitehead.

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The people were picking up the kinds of healthy options many of the neighbors say are not so readily available or affordable at stores closer to their homes.

“The closest grocery store is on Ledbetter and Lancaster," Maxine Cox said.

That’s several miles away from the church and from her home.

“It’s about 15 minutes from here," Whitehead said. "Some people don’t have cars, it’s a lot of apartment people stay over in this neighborhood that don’t have cars. And this is good for them and the senior citizens.”

Breaking down barriers to food access is why Catholic Charities of Dallas and North Texas Food Bank are partnering in the new initiative.

"We knew that a lot of the people that are hungry aren’t near a pantry," said Trisha Cunningham, president and CEO of North Texas Food Bank. "And so these mobile trucks helps us to be able to get the food to where it needs to go.”

Organizers say the Mobile Community Pantry will visit neighborhoods that need it most.

"Oh, it’s a blessing,” said Gracie Hill. "It’s a big blessing.”

Over the past month, since rolling out the mobile pantries, Catholic Charities has served about 1300 families.

The Mobile Community Pantry serves 18 locations across greater Dallas, for now. There are plans to grow the program to more than 40 distribution sites.

“It’s a big need,” Cox said.

For more information about receiving assistance from Catholic Charities Dallas mobile community food pantries or to donate, call 866-223-7500 and ask for the Food Program.

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