The mission of the Killeen Food Care Center is to “stand in the gap,” and on the fourth Friday of each month, it extends its mission.
In a partnership with Capital Area Food Bank, every fourth Friday, the food care center offers fresh produce to local residents who are in need, without requiring the completion of any paperwork.
Ann Farris, co-director of the center, said the food bank sees a “huge influx” of people lining up for fresh produce on the fourth Fridays.
“We have to kind of brace ourselves for a traffic jam. We get lots of folks, and (the fresh produce) is gone in a flash,” she said. “The food care center is a faith-based pantry, and what that means is that no one has to qualify. If they’re hungry, they are welcome to have food.”
Farris said the only information collected from the pantry is an address so the center can keep current data to apply for grants.
“This program is very necessary,” she said. “People need food and they need it not only in terms of hunger, but also in terms of nutrition. What we are giving them (at Fresh Food for Families) is just that, it’s fresh vegetables and fresh fruit.”
Sarah Peralta, Capital Area Food Bank spokeswoman, said providing fresh produce is “a priority” for the food bank.
“We know that for folks who are low income, and having trouble paying their grocery bills ... having access to fresh produce is very, very hard.”
Peralta said the Fresh Food for Families program was built from feedback from its partners throughout the community.
“It’s a priority for us because a healthy community is a better community for us all,” she said.
The line begins forming at 9 a.m. at the food care center, 210 N. 16th St. in Killeen, and staff begins distributing food at 11 a.m.