By Sarah Rafique
Killeen Daily Herald
NOLANVILLE - Mary Faye McDonald knows how to stretch a dollar.
The director of the Nolanville Food Pantry leased its new building from the water development board for $1, allowing funds to directly serve the community.
"A lot of organizations will do that for nonprofits," said Karla Cantu at a ribbon-cutting ceremony Sunday at the pantry.
McDonald and her team of about five volunteers moved June 4 from the pantry's old location at the J.W. Sims Community Center and plan their first food distribution from 3 to 6 p.m. Thursday at the new location, 200 N. Main St.
"It's really nice that they saw the food pantry serving the whole community," said Cantu, senior director of Agency Relations and Programs for the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas.
Dorothy Glazener, a member of the pantry's board of directors, said the pantry, which is open the second and fourth Thursday of the month, serves about 60 to 65 families every two weeks in a town with a population of about 5,000.
"It's rewarding to see the people you can help and how appreciative they are of it," she said.
Mayor Charlie Stewart said the pantry has helped a lot of people in the community in the 20 years he's lived in Nolanville.
"Especially with the economic times that we have, (McDonald) is doing a wonderful job assisting people that are in need," he said. "The service of a food pantry is one that is really needed in our time and I'm glad they have a more stable place to service the community."
McDonald said she hopes having her own building allows her to continue to feed as many people as she can, including offering more produce.
Cantu said some people have the wrong impression about pantries and the people they serve.
"The food pantry is not a sad place," said Cantu. "What would be sad is if this food pantry were not here to serve those people in their time of need."
She said volunteers give from their hearts to make sure families can move forward with their lives despite the high cost of living. Although there used to be just emergency food pantries, Cantu said pantries like the one in Nolanville are helpful because people are in a chronic state of need.
"The majority of people visiting food pantries today are the working poor, but because of the cost of living, they still can not make ends meet," said Cantu. "They are making hard choices: 'Do I put gas in my car or do I feed my kids? Those are choices that people shouldn't have to make today."
Contact Sarah Rafique at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7549.
Residents can donate food items to the Nolanville Food Pantry or send donations to P.O. Box 8, Nolanville, TX 76559. The most needed non-perishable foods are canned meats, packaged dinners, tuna, peanut butter, jelly, dry beans, cereals and canned peas and corn.
The pantry is open from 3 to 6 p.m. the second and fourth Thursday of the month and for emergencies at 200 N. Main St.
For more information, call (254) 698-6820.