Plano pantry provides food, options to families in need

Plano Star Courier August 19th, 2015

Brittany Feagans,

plano star

“Founded in 1971, members of the Kiwanis Club of Plano are no strangers to giving back to the community. For the past few years, club members have partnered with A Christian Food Pantry to deliver food directly to seniors in need.

A Christian Food Pantry and Thrift Store opened in east Plano in April 2011 to serve food-insecure Collin County families. The pantry partners with North Texas Food Bank, so food costs are 5 cents per meal.

“We found that some residents from low-income senior housing in Plano were coming over here with walkers to get food,” said Gary Cook, who is on the board of the Kiwanis Club of Plano and A Christian Food Pantry. “So once a month for the last three or four years we have been going to Pioneer Place and deliver food for the residents door to door.”

Overwhelmed with the amount of patrons in its small location, founder Walt Webking relocated the pantry to a larger location at 1116 Dobie Drive last month.

“We were so crowded and could handle only five families at a time, and people would say we were slowing it down by letting them pick [their food],” Webking said. “People would stand in line for about three hours on a Saturday. This new place can handle a bunch at one time.”

Webking prides his pantry, which is set up like a farmer’s market, in allowing patrons to select which item of food they need.

“We are committed to showing respect and grace to our clients,” he said. “Handing someone a pre-packaged bag of food is not uplifting. We want to make each family smile and show them what grace looks like, feels like and tastes like, especially for the children.”

Cook said most of the people who come to the pantry are from the 75074 ZIP code, but anyone from Collin County is welcome.

 “There are a lot of people that are at or below the federal guidelines for poverty, and of course there are a lot of people that certainly need some help,” he said. “The concern is that there are more people out there [in need who don’t know about us.]'”

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