To the editor,

We were talking the other days about the needs of the food bank. Of course, the first answer is always the same: food. The need seems to have jumped just this summer, and our shelves are emptying fast. Food drives like the one the Medical Center just had are very helpful. However, our regular system of purchasing food from the Tarrant Area Food Bank is what we mainly rely on.

We can get food there much cheaper than any donor can get it at the store to give to us. That is, money goes farther. We buy canned and dry goods for 16 cents a pound (thatís like a normal can of corn or pork & beans for 16 cents); meats for 18 cents a pound; and fresh vegetables for three cents a pound ó that is, unless they are on sale, in which case we get them free.

If you multiply 100 clients a month (itís been more than 100 the past three months) by 65 (my estimate of how much we sent out with each one) you can tell we need to bring in 6,500 pounds of food a month to keep going. This means drivers who have pickups and are willing to donate their gas (because we donít reimburse). It means strong backs for loading and unloading all that food. At the current time we have enough drivers willing to go once a month on Monday that we have the month covered ó if people donít get sick or go away on vacation. What we need is a list of willing backup drivers and a list of people willing to ride along to help load and people willing to help unload when the truck gets back.

Iím going to think big here and tell you that what we most need, for now and into the future, is a new building. The Methodist Church has been incredibly generous in letting us use its old parsonage rent free, but that old house was never designed as a food bank. Itís hard to get dollies with heavy cases around corners and through narrow doors, and we worry that we may be overloading the floor or the electrical system or the roof may spring a leak. What we really need is an industrial style building so we could drive up, unload at a big door in back, and serve out of the front. I am hoping that someone in the community will come up with such a building if I keep putting out the word.

Thanks for all you have done for us.

Janis P. Stout

Glen Rose