HARKER HEIGHTS  — Uniting to help fill barren shelves at the Harker Heights Food Care Center, the First Baptist Church of Harker Heights teamed up with Harker Heights United Methodist and Trinity Baptist churches to host a fall festival.

The Harker Heights Food Care Center Fall Festival fundraiser, held Saturday at Carl Levin Park, featured bingo, a chili cook-off, face painting, bounce houses, local performers and a DJ.

All the proceeds generated will go to help the center feed senior citizens living on a fixed income, single parents raising children, families trying to get by on minimum wage, the homeless, the unemployed and those down on their luck.

Representatives from the Harker Heights fire and police departments were on hand and Sparky the Fire Dog made his rounds, thanking those who brought donations.

According to Linda Dawson, the food care center’s executive director, one in five people living in Harker Heights lives below the poverty line and one in four children don’t know where their next meal is coming from.

“Imagine for a minute the face of your child or grandchild and know that they are hungry and you can’t feed them,” she said. “That’s why I do what I do.”

Dawson, a retired cafeteria manager for the Killeen Independent School District, has been running the center since 2000 and feeds more than 300 families, or 1,000 people, every month. More often than not, she dips into her own pocket to make sure no one goes hungry.

With many people feeling the effects of being furloughed during the government’s shutdown the past two weeks, Dawson said she saw 22 new faces who needed help putting food on the table.

“In a nation as rich as ours and in an area that’s growing the way Harker Heights is, there is no reason anyone, including children, should ever go hungry,” Dawson said. “I’m touched to see the community coming out and donating food.”

The center is in desperate need as the holiday season approaches and volunteers like Floristine Cleveland said every little bit helps. She said a donation of as little as $1 enables Dawson to purchase six pounds of food from the Capital Area Food Bank in Austin.

For more information, go to www.hhfoodcenter.org.

How to help

Mail a check payable to the Harker Heights Food Care Center to P.O. Box 2238 Harker Heights, TX 76548.

Drop off canned and nonperishable food items like macaroni and cheese, canned soup and meats, flour, sugar and Hamburger Helper to:

  • The Harker Heights Chamber of Commerce, 552 E. Farm-to-Market 2410.
  • City Hall, 300 Miller’s Crossing.
  • The Stewart C. Meyer Public Library, 400 Indian Trail.
  • First Baptist Church of Harker Heights, 100 E. Ruby Road.

Contact Vanessa Lynch at vlynch@kdhnews.com or 254-501-7567.

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