By Ashley Moss
As the COVID-19 pandemic stretches into the Fall, families across North Texas are feeling more “than a pinch.”
According to the North Texas Food Bank, the rates for household food insecurity for area residents have increased significantly since the pandemic began and unemployment for September also shot up to more than 8 percent.
“We were just shy of 800,000 who were experiencing food insecurity which is the lowest rate since the recession, only to skyrocket (back up) due to COVID, to nearly 1 million,” said North Texas Food Bank spokesperson Anna Kurian.
Hoping to help local families weather the tough times, the Dirk Nowitzki Foundation, Mark Cuban Foundation, Heroes Foundation and the North Texas Food Bank teamed up to host a Center Table Fall Harvest drive-through food pick-up for families residing near the Mark Cuban Heroes Basketball Center, which is located in Dallas in the 75216 zip code. The surrounding area is often considered ‘high-risk’ due to limited access to food options and community services.
“It’s already stressful for families (right now), but even more stressful when you don’t know where your next meal is coming from,” said Nowitzki. “We’re just trying to do our part.”
Through October 22nd’s effort, the small army was able to provide food boxes for 425 families, who also received vouchers for complimentary Thanksgiving turkeys. The Center Table Fall Harvest will continue with additional events in November and December.
“We hope Center Table Fall Harvest will help bring some joy to our neighboring families during these very difficult times,” said Trina Terrell-Andrews, CEO of the Mark Cuban Heroes Basketball Center. “We may never know everything our families are facing, but we know we must do all we can to support one another.”
About The Mark Cuban Heroes Basketball Center: The Mark Cuban Heroes Basketball Center is a multi-purpose facility for neighborhood youth and families providing sports and leadership programs. During the COVID-19 crisis, the Center has expanded its services to address the critical needs arising during the pandemic related to food insecurity, including the distribution of afterschool snacks, meals and food boxes to neighborhood families. Learn more: https://www.markcubanheroescenter.org/