KILLEEN, Texas (FOX 44) – With the situation in Washington looking grim, it could have major implications for families receiving food assistance here in Central Texas.
Killeen’s Operation Phantom Support opens its doors to the Fort Cavazos community and is funded completely by donations. The non-profit is prepped and ready to help should the government shut down, but they are also asking for monthly contributions.
“We are the answer to this problem in the short term. But if this went long term, if this goes for six months or something, we’re all going to dry up and fizzle out too, because we don’t have the funds to do it,” says CEO of Operation Phantom Support John Valentine.
The non-profit soldiers and community members will donate $20 a month to keep the food pantry going.
In Waco, Shepherd’s Heart food pantry has also stocked up to ensure there is food readily available if the government does shut down.
“We’ve been preparing all year long because we’ve seen and grown all year long. The thing that we’re seeing right now, we’ve already served without closing out September, yet over 61,000 families I’ll probably close this month are much higher than that,” says Shepherd’s Heart Pantry Executive Director Robert Gager.
Shepherd’s pantry has made it easy for low-income families to get food rather than going through assistance programs. With 48,000 people in the Central Texas community at or below the poverty line.
Gager believes it’s time for more community involvement.
“If we can find a way to get the local churches to get more involved, then we don’t need the government to do all of this,” Gager said.