Denton County Commissioners Court has spent almost $5 million to help close the gap on food needs across the county during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Feeding our Denton County families during this pandemic has been of utmost importance,” said Precinct 3 Commissioner Bobbie Mitchell. “We meet each week with food pantry officials across the county to discuss the availability of food and the increasing demand.”
Using funds from the federal CARES Act via the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Denton County has provided grants to double refrigeration capacity at area food pantries and bought several refrigerated trucks to enable non-profits to spread food to additional areas, according to a news release from the county. The Commissioners Court also approved a contract with Denton Creek Farm Inc. in mid-August to provide up to 3,000 boxes of fresh fruits and vegetables to help support available food supplies. Each 25-pound box, delivered to food pantries and churches across the county, provides a family with between 11-13 different varieties of fresh fruit and vegetables.
Denton County Commissioners Court also authorized several grants to add protein to food availability, approving the purchase of 12,000 turkeys and hams for the Thanksgiving holiday to be given free to families in need, according to the county.
With demand increasing between 200-400%, food pantries and churches are stretched, Mitchell said.
“We have worked hard these past nine months to ensure our families do not go hungry,” she said.
Funds used to shore up food resources in the county must be spent by Dec. 30, according to federal guidelines. As the need continues to grow, officials say it will be important for other entities to assist until additional federal funds become available.
“We are doing everything we can in Denton County but we cannot do it alone,” Mitchell said. “It will take everyone pitching in to keep people fed in Denton County during this ongoing pandemic.”