Keeping up with the demand of feeding more than 300 hungry families in Harker Heights is the challenge Linda Dawson faces from week to week.

Ensuring there is enough food to go around every week is another challenge, and one she cannot conquer on her own.

Recognizing the dire situation at the food care center, the First Baptist Church of Harker Heights teamed up with Harker Heights United Methodist and Trinity Baptist churches to host the Harker Heights Food Care Center Fall Festival fundraiser Oct. 19.

“Between the donations that we got that day from the festival and from people reading the article in the paper the next day, I was able to put 1,200 pounds of food on my shelves,” said Dawson, the center’s executive director.

“This festival was a real lifesaver because my shelves were empty and the Capital Area Food Bank in Austin didn’t have any of the staples I needed to complete meals.”

Dawson said staple items include items like flour, sugar, corn meal, cereal, packaged macaroni and cheese and Hamburger Helper. She feeds more than 1,000 people every week and goes through 2,500 pounds of food per week.

More often than not, her shelves become dangerously close to be barren. However, she won’t allow someone to go hungry, dipping into her own pocket to ensure that doesn’t happen.

“Without these food drives and festivals where people donate food, I wouldn’t been able to keep the doors open,” Dawson said. “We have so much need here and every donation counts and makes a difference in someone’s day and I really appreciate and depend on the food drives.”

Contact Vanessa Lynch at or 254-501-7567.

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