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'I am really grateful,' says woman in line of thousands to receive food from North Texas Food Bank's mobile pantry

For the 3rd time during the COVID-19 pandemic, North Texas Food Bank held a mobile food giveaway.

Since the COVID-19 crisis started in Texas, North Texas Food Bank has held three mobile food drives at Fair Park.

Thursday was the third time, and even more people were served than before. It took three hours to hand out food to around 2,000 families. 

Credit: WFAA

Thousands of cars lined up early in the morning. As 9:00 a.m. approached, people opened their trunks, pulled forward, and waited for boxes of food to be placed in their cars.

"It probably didn't even take 45 minutes, 30 minutes at most," said Djuana Carter, a Dallas resident. She hasn't been able to work since COVID-19 started.

Carter is a nurse's aid, but personally struggles with COPD. She is part of the vulnerable population, and stopped working to reduce her risk of exposure. 

"I wanted to continue to work, but my health wouldn't let me," Carter said. 

She and her family needed help putting food on the table, so she headed to Fair Park on Thursday morning. 

"I am really grateful," Carter said. 

Dr. Valerie Hawthorne, director of community and government relations with North Texas Food Bank, said this crisis is worse. 

"I've been a food banker for seven years, and I've never seen anything like this," Hawthorne said. 

Credit: WFAA

Thanks to partners like the Texas Department of Emergency Management, USDA, and other generous donations throughout North Texas, Hawthorne said they were able to provide a variety of food for families. Dry shelf stable boxes, produce boxes, gallons of milk, and snack bags were available on Thursday. 

Hawthorne said, "We've got around 5,000 of each of those categories for this event, so we're hoping to serve somewhere between 1,500 and 2,000 cars today." 

For residents like Carter, she's had to make a lot of adjustments and has more things to worry about during COVID-19, but she said it's made her see the beauty in people throughout her community.

"With this pandemic going on, it has opened my eyes to another level of appreciating life, appreciating people, and giving people their roses while they're alive," Carter said. 

For those without a car, or who were unable to receive food from the North Texas Food Bank mobile pantry on Thursday, click here to find a food pantry near you. 

Credit: WFAA

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