As the holiday season approaches, groups and organizations are stepping up efforts to help feed those in need with special food collections intended to stock the shelves at local food pantries and programs.
According to the East Texas Food Bank website, which has provided food to over 200 partner agencies in 26 counties since 1988, an estimated 18 million pounds of food were distributed in 2011, amounting to 15 million meals. 1 in 4 children, 1 in 5 adults and 1 in 7 seniors in East Texas are "at-risk” of hunger, the site said.
To help fight hunger, students at two Jacksonville ISD elementary campuses have been collecting items as early as last month. A Fred Douglass secretary said that as of Nov. 2, students and staff have collected roughly half of a 2,000-item goal, while at West Side, their counterparts have collected approximately 200 of a 500-item goal. The West Side campus began collecting Nov. 5 and will wrap up the project Nov. 9. The city's other two elementary campuses, Joe Wright and Eastside, will conduct similar drives in the spring.
This month, area Boy Scouts will participate in the annual Scouting for Food Drive. Collection bags will be distributed to area homes on Nov. 10, and troops will return on Nov. 17 to collect donations, which will be taken to centrally located donation sites. For locations of collection sites, contact the East Texas Area Council Boy Scouts of America at 903-240-2144.
The 2nd annual Cherokee County Turkey Trot, a 5K and 1 Mile Fun Run/Walk scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Nov. 17 in downtown Rusk, will benefit H.O.P.E.'s Backpack for Kids program. A $20 entry fee includes a T-shirt, with pre-registration through Friday. Forms are located at the Cherokee County Extension office or online at cherokee.agrilife.org. The event is sponsored by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension program.
In Jacksonville, the People Helping People project offers shoppers a 10 percent discount on grocery purchases at Super Gallo Market, with money set aside to provide food for families recommended by businesses and organization taking part in program. Discounts will be collected through Dec. 20, with food distributed Dec. 22. Contact Tony Wilburn 903-372-1346 or 903-589-7654, or email email@example.com.
Several entities operate food programs that benefit those in need and are collecting non-perishable food items and money to stock their pantries.
H.O.P.E. (Helping Others Pursue Enrichment), a non-profit organization that serves as a clearing house for local churches and agencies that was founded in 1991 by the Jacksonville ministerial alliance, offers several different programs. The Backpack Program provides a backpack of two days' worth of nutritional meals and snacks for students whose primary source of food is the school cafeteria. A Brown Bag Program provides a bag of nourishing staples to qualifying elderly and disabled clients every fourth Thursday of each month. A community kitchen provides people in need a healthy meal three days each week, while once a month, the Manna Pantry provides non perishable, staple food items for qualified applicants. H.O.P.E. is located at 595 S. Ragsdale. For more information about programs, call 903-586-7781.
First United Methodist Church Mission House accepts non-perishable food items, but purchase a bulk of the food for its pantry through the East Texas Food Bank in Tyler. Goods may be brought to the church, located at 226 S. Phillips St., Bullard. The pantry distributes food the third Wednesday and fourth Tuesday of the month, but in light of the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, the November distribution has been moved to Nov. 13. For more information, contact Hazel Mason, food pantry director, at 903-521-5711.
The St. Vincent De Paul Society at Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church operates a weekly food pantry from 10 a. m. to 1 p.m. Thursdays at 1023 Corinth Road. For more information, call 903-586-4538. While SVDP works with the East Texas Food Bank to procure items, donors can bring non-perishable food items to the parish hall, said secretary Ana Torres. Produce and fresh food items are accepted only if brought in on Thursdays, she said.
The Mission community food pantry at 209 S. Patton distributes food from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Friday, as well as from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays, said David Butler, senior pastor at People's Church in Jacksonville, which supports the program. Both perishable and non-perishable food items are accepted, he said. The pantry began operating about two months ago. For more information, contact Crystal Alvarez at The Mission food pantry, 903-589-2911.
- Local News
Local rap artist spreads the 411 on Jesus
"I have seen things in my life that would make Dr. Phil crazy," Jacksonville native, ordained minister and aspiring rap artist Stephen I. Crow Jr. said with a laugh. "That's why I don't label my music specifically as "Christian rap" -- yes, Christians who love rap can listen and hopefully be uplifted, but I truly want and am trying to bring the word and Jesus' message to people who may never have heard it or don't believe it's for them.
Tomato Bowl flushed to bottom of priorities
The historic Tomato Bowl, built in 1940, stands strong on the outside, but according to some people the inside needs a lot of work in order to not be an eyesore.
Cherokee County arrest: April 8-14
The Daily Progress will publish a list of arrests from the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office on a weekly basis.
Jacksonville College, high schools team up to offer dual credit program
Jacksonville College is currently offering qualifying high school juniors and seniors attending Jacksonville and New Summerfield ISDs and The Brookhill School in Bullard the opportunity to get head start on their higher education.
JISD board members to consider district strategic plan
The Jacksonville ISD Board of Trustees will meet at 6:30 p.m. Monday, April 21, to discuss a district strategic plan and consider buying new band uniforms.
2 men arrested after standoff in grocery store
Two men were arrested early Wednesday morning after a standoff at the B&B Foods in Alto.
According to Alto Police Chief Jeremy Jackson, a person reported seeing two black males at the store just before 3 a.m. Wednesday.
Some area entities closed for holiday
Many area offices and businesses will be closed Friday in observance of Good Friday and Easter.
JPD dispatcher killed in wreck
A dispatcher for the Jacksonville Police Department was killed Monday on her way to work, according to officials.
Amber Enge, 35, of Whitehouse was pronounced dead at the scene of a one-vehicle wreck Monday afternoon on CR 2177 in Whitehouse.
CR speed limit changes, E-filling fee top agenda
On Monday, Cherokee County commissioners set April 28 to hold public hearings concerning the changing speed limits on two county roads.
Religious lines drawn: Protesters met by members of Church of Wells
Other than a few community members' voices that rose above the crowd, the protest Saturday against the Church of Wells remained peaceful.
- More Local News Headlines
- Local rap artist spreads the 411 on Jesus