The Storehouse of Collin County, a nonprofit which provides short-term assistance and long-term transformation to residents of Collin County in need, has more than doubled the number of households served since COVID-19 began. As a participant in “North Texas Giving Tuesday Now,” April 14 – May 5, The Storehouse has created a fundraising theme, “As One Curve Flattens, Another Rises,” to emphasize that while social distancing helps flatten the curve of COVID-19’s spread, another curve is rising that is demanding a response from the community.
Since the shelter-in-place was instituted on March 13, service numbers at The Storehouse’s Seven Loaves Food Pantry have climbed steadily each week: 309 families in the first week, 348 in the second, 555 in the third, and 573 in the fourth.
“Pre-COVID-19, we averaged 250 families per week,” said Candace Winslow, executive director, The Storehouse of Collin County. “With the closing of businesses, increasing unemployment, and children at home full-time, many of our Collin County neighbors are finding themselves at the doors of our food pantry for the first time. While many sheltering at home may feel helpless, ‘North Texas Giving Tuesday Now’ gives us all a way to do something that will make an impact.”
As a partner agency and one of the largest distributors of food for the North Texas Food Bank (NTFB), The Storehouse has the ability to stretch a donor’s dollar to purchase a larger quantity of food. Through its partnership with NTFB, The Storehouse has access to food items, many of which have been provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). While The Storehouse doesn’t pay for the food, it pays a small transportation fee to cover handling charges. For example, through NTFB, a $200 donation to The Storehouse could provide 1,224, 16-ounce jars of USDA generic brand peanut butter, equating to approximately 16 cents per jar, compared to a cost of approximately $1.94 for a brand name peanut butter of that size in an area grocery store. Monetary gifts also allow for the purchase of more healthy items such a fresh produce and proteins along with exactly what is needed to provide a family with balanced meals.
“Currently, The Storehouse is relying more heavily on NTFB since our other regular sources (individual food drives/donations and grocery store pickups) are not possible due to our building’s closure and limited resources,” added Winslow. “Our neighbors are currently receiving food items in an outside, revised walk-up model, following CDC guidelines.”
Prior to COVID-19, the need in Collin County, one of the most affluent counties in Texas, was already great. One in 6 households (16.1%) faced food insecurity and 1 in 5 children (21.6%) were affected by hunger. In 2019 The Storehouse provided 1.8 million pounds of food (equivalent to 1,535,231 meals, feeding 36,803 individuals of which 12,466 are children and 3,664 are seniors). The Storehouse served on average 1,000 families per month through its Seven Loaves Food Pantry, supported not only by NTFB, as well local corporations, food service partners, and thousands of volunteers. Presently, that number is on track to be doubled.
“We anticipate that even after the veil of Covid-19 is lifted, The Storehouse has reached a new normal of service that will continue for an undetermined period of time as families struggle to get back on their feet,” added Winslow. “While many will be able to go back to places of employment, there will be many who will not be so lucky. Savings will be depleted, families will face debt, and we will see an increase in needs beyond food in our Project Hope Program, which supports women in crisis. This “echo crisis” will be evident among many nonprofits serving on the frontlines.”
“What food banks and food pantries are experiencing now on a national level is unprecedented,” added Winslow. “During natural disasters and other emergencies, there is the option of relying on other areas for support, but during COVID-19, there is hunger everywhere, and people are hungry every day. We hope you will consider supporting The Storehouse of Collin County during “North Texas Giving Tuesday Now” through May 5 at midnight. Visit www.northtexasgivingday.org/thestorehousecc, and please remember that no gift is too small – just one dollar will provide three meals to a hungry North Texan.”
Visit thestorehousecc.org to learn more.
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The Storehouse of Collin County, a nonprofit whose mission is to feed, clothe and care for neighbors in one community, provides short-term assistance and long-term transformation to residents of Collin County in need: the Seven Loaves Food Pantry, serving 1,000 families a month; Joseph’s Coat Clothing Closet, providing an average of 4,000 garments each month; and Project Hope, a mentoring program supporting women in crisis. The program first began in 2009 under the name of Seven Loaves which provided only food pantry staples and grew over the years to meet a variety of needs. An estimated 130,000 people in Collin County live below the poverty level, more than half of which are children. In September 2018, The Storehouse received the North Texas Food Bank’s Partner Agency of the Year Excellence in Impact Award in recognition of its life changing services, meeting multiple needs for each family served. Visit www.thestorehousecc.org. The Storehouse EIN: 27-1883333