Community leaders take charge, help feed Texomans with USDA assistance program

Local News

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — A local church took time out of their weekend to give food back to the community, in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farmers to Families Food box program.

The USDA purchases food from farmers and that food gets distributed to communities through schools, food banks and faith-based organizations like Heritage Assembly of God.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic has stressed resources, families and farmers are some of the many that have been affected from this scarcity.

Music Pastor and Orphan Care Coordinator Derek Carter said, “We’ve seen almost 600 cars come through here today, and we had about 1,250 boxes to distribute. This was our first time to ever do this, and so we’ve had an amazing turn out today.”

With unemployment reaching record numbers at one point in 2020, and farmers not being able to sell produce to businesses, the U.S. Department of Agriculture developed the farmers to families food box program, giving assistance to both parties.

“We’re lucky to get this here in Wichita Falls. We’ve been very beneficial here to have a local church here and some people volunteer,” Stephen Santellana, Wichita Falls Mayor, said.

Along with many volunteers, Heritage Assembly of God had lots of help from local businesses.

“Market Street donated the use of their truck. We’ve had Texoma Freight be a part of it,” Carter said. “We’ve had United Rentals with the use of the fork lift. We just wanted to reach our community in ways that are practical for them.”

Wichita Falls police officers helped direct traffic and cars wrapped around the church until the last box was given away.

“The need is great. Obviously, you can see the need is great community wide. We wanted it to be the community serving the community and that’s what it’s turned out to be today,” Carter said.

This picture of community is what the UDS had in mind when they began the program.

The USDA has already spent $4 billion on this program.

Items in the box included a bag of potatoes, cottage cheese, chicken drumsticks and milk.

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