Hunger in Dallas

Every day at noon, more than a hundred people, most of them men, climb three flights of stairs to a gymnasium in the First Presbyterian Church complex at Har-wood and Wood streets in downtown Dallas. Seated at portable tables set up on the gym floor, they talk quietly or stare off into space. As they wait, the faint odor of unwashed bodies and sweat-stained clothes gives way to the aroma of hot food. Soon huge pots of stew are wheeled out, and the stew is ladled into waiting bowls. The men eat quickly and quietly, leaning down to the bowls, spoon in one hand, slice of bread in the other, pausing only long enough to take swallows of milk. As they eat, a stocky, gray-haired man in casual shirt and slacks walks among the tables greeting familiar faces and putting newcomers at ease.

The man is Jack Moore. He doesn’t look like a preacher, nor does he talk like one, even though he is an ordained Presbyterian minister. He is an ex-Marine, an author, and a man wise in the ways of urban street life. Moore got the Stew Pot going last fall in an effort to meet the needs of hungry people who were coming by the downtown church daily. He started with $600 from a special church fund and $1,800 from a Presbyterian world hunger fund.

The people who come to the Stew Pot – between 90 and 125 most days, 250 the day after Thanksgiving – come because they are hungry, and because they know they can get something to eat with no sermons, no questions, no embarrassment. They also get other kinds of help – clothing. hair cuts, minor medical attention – in a program called Park Place Ministry, of which the Stew Pot is a part.

“How do you screen out the cheaters?” Moore is sometimes asked. To him the question is nonsensical. “If they can climb those three flights of stairs, they’re eligible,” he says. “It seems to me the Christian has a duty to feed the hungry, not to determine eligibility.”

Joe, for instance, is a Stew Pot regular whenever he’s in Dallas. He’s from Kentucky, if it can be said he’s from anywhere. He’s been on the road since he got out of the Army Air Corps in 1945. He has relatives in Dallas, respectable people, he says, but he hasn’t seen them in eight years, and he would be embarrassed to see them now. Like many of the men busily eating around him, Joe wears an ill-fitting cast-off suit. Like the others, he seems afraid of direct eye contact. He wanders back and forth across the South, working when he can find work or when he’s in shape to work, hopping freights or thumbing rides to another city when the work runs out. He holes up in flop houses or missions to make it through each winter.

At another table, Richard tells me about California, where he has been working for the past two years. “There’s a lot of transients out there,” he says, “more than I’ve ever seen before. Times are hard for a lot of people. It’s worse today, even though times are supposed to be getting better. I don’t think it’s gonna get any better.” Richard is an auto mechanic who grew up in a small town near here, and he hopes to find work in Dallas. He wears a tie and a suit – a bit threadbare, but it fits him. His mustache is neatly trimmed. In his early forties, he is articulate, apparently educated, seemingly out of place, and yet there is something slightly out of focus, a hint of desperation just below the calm demeanor.

And there’s Bobby, a tall, 19-year-old Navajo. Bobby left the reservation in Arizona to come to trade school in Dallas. He has finished the machinist’s course, but now can’t find a job. He’s still looking, but unless he finds something soon, he’ll have to go back to the reservation. Meanwhile the money has run out, and he’s hungry.

For all three of these men, for everyone who frequents the Stew Pot, finding something to eat is a daily struggle, a struggle that – for whatever reason – each of them frequently loses. And while men like Joe and Richard and Bobby have learned how to get by on less, have learned how to scrounge, they’ll admit when pressed that hunger still hurts. It’s not something you get used to.

Several weeks ago, I started looking for hunger in Dallas. The Stew Pot was my first stop. Having read many of the dramatic and disturbing accounts written in the late Sixties about starvation, hunger, and malnutrition in the United States, having read more recent articles about chronic hunger in several large cities in the Northeast, I wanted to see if similar conditions exist in Dallas. I started out looking for people who were literally starving – neglected old people, out of sight and helpless; swollen-bellied children with severe dietary deficiencies and hopelessly inadequate diets. Fortunately I did not find that, although there are some isolated, mostly rural, areas of Dallas County where chronic hunger and malnutrition could well exist.

What I found is that hunger, although a real concern for poor people in Dallas, is ultimately not the basic issue. In fact, because most of us are quick to respond emotionally to the problem of hunger, it may even obscure the basic issues – adequate health care, welfare reform, educating people to function in an increasingly complex society, to name a few. On the other hand, focusing on how poor people go about getting enough to eat is, it seems to me, a useful way of beginning to understand those basic issues.

It was not difficult to find people in Dallas – from children to old people – who are frequently hungry. Not starving, because they eat enough to survive, but hungry, because they don’t eat enough to thrive. I found people who often cannot get the right kinds of food to eat. Old people, many living alone, who are dependent on someone else for what they eat. At best, they depend on a family member; at worst, on a stranger from an agency. People who must frequently decide between paying the light bill for the month or buying food stamps so the children won’t go to bed hungry every night, between buying a pair of jeans the children need for school or a bit of stew to supplement the beans that are their common diet. And people who long ago learned the regular dietary tricks of the poor, who know about the lumpy, pasty menus that give the illusion of a satisfied stomach. This article is about those people.

One summer evening in 1966, Annie May Barnes was walking along the side of the road in Terrell, where she was then living, to a washateria about a mile from her house. A car speeding down the road hit her, catapulting her through a small wooden fence into a culvert. The car failed to stop, and her paper boy found her, bleeding and unconscious, her right eye ball dangling out of its socket. Every bone from the hips down was broken.

Today Mrs. Barnes is 58. A thin, quietly good-natured lady with short brown hair, she lives in a sparsely furnished, two-room apartment on Ross. She shares the apartment with Cindy, an over-stuffed little dog with loving brown eyes, 13 years old and afflicted with arthritis. Mrs. Barnes lives on $177.70 a month – $74.70 Social Security and $103 Supplementary Security Income. Rent is $100 a month. That leaves her a little more than $2 a day to live on. Her expenses include a telephone, a life insurance policy for which she pays $7.70 every two weeks, and a $300 burial policy costing her $2.04 every two months. “I have tried so hard to hold on to that,” she says.

Mrs. Barnes estimates that she spends between $16 and $18 a week at the grocery store, some of that, of course, on non-food necessities. She rarely buys meat. “I look at it,” she says, “but I know it’s not for me.”

How does she make it?

“I don’t throw anything away,” she explains. “I’ll cook up a pot of beans, and they’ll last several days, and I’ll make some corn bread. And I like vegetables, or sometimes I’ll make some soup. And my neighbors have been awfully nice. Like they’ll make a chicken or roast or dressing or something, and they’ll bring me some of it. I don’t eat very much, and I buy the most inexpensive kinds of things. I eat most anything. I’m not particular about food.”

As food prices continued to rise, Mrs. Barnes realized she had to do something. I hate to have to do it, she finally told her sister one day last winter, but it looks like I’m going to have to see if I’m eligible for food stamps. “I was going to let the telephone go, but a telephone is such a necessity for old people who live alone, I thought I’d see if I could get the stamps first.”

Food stamp worker Kathy Hobson visited Mrs. Barnes and took her step-by-step through the complicated application process. She explained that a food stamp recipient is expected to pay 30 percent of his take-home income for shelter. Anything over 30 percent is considered a shelter deduction. After her shelter deduction, Mrs. Barnes’ food stamp income was set at $120 a month. That meant, after some mysterious calculations and chart consultations by Ms. Hobson, that Mrs. Barnes was eligible to receive $50 worth of stamps each month for which she would pay $24.

Mrs. Barnes was relieved. “The worst part is worrying about not making it,” she explained. “The food stamps just lift all that worry about what you’re going to do when you find yourself in the middle of the month with $9 in the bank, like I am right now.”

To get to where Charlie Jab-lonski lives, you go in the back door of the Q-Stick Bar in an industrial area of East Dallas near downtown, up the stairs to the second floor of the Bower Hotel and down a long, dark, dingy hall to Room 224.

The hospital-green walls of Charlie’s tiny room are peeling, and the yellowed Venetian blinds hang askew, but Charlie keeps his place as neat as he can, despite the roaches that chase each other across the shelves, despite the musty combination of ancient food odors and Lysol. The room is furnished with an old double bed, a card table, a couple of tired chairs, a refrigerator, a broken television set, and an old, scorched electric skillet where Charlie does all his cooking. A caseworker termed Charlie’s place “unlive-able,” but as Charlie says, “It’s not much of a home, but it’s home to me.” It’s been home for six years.

Charlie Jablonski – friends at the Q-Stick call him Charlie Brown – is 56, a short, ruddy-faced man with sandy hair, a dapper mustache, and the sturdy arms of a man who has known hard work. He came to Dallas in 1928, and for many years he was a mechanic at the County Garage. “I’m a jack-of-all-trades,” he says, but since last October he hasn’t worked anywhere. Charlie is going blind.

“There ain’t no job for someone in my situation,” he says. “I go to a labor pool, and they give me a form to fill out, and I can’t even see it to fill it out. So I just come on back home. I did scratch a little here and there doing some odd jobs for people in the neighborhood who knew I needed work, but lately I been totally blind and can’t work.”

Eventually someone told Charlie he should go to County Welfare, Dallas’ agency for emergency assistance, so he rode the bus twice to the office on Harry Hines. Both times he was nearly run over, he says, because he couldn’t see the traffic lights and had to cross wide, busy Harry Hines Boulevard when it sounded like traffic had stopped.

Both times County Welfare refused to help him.

Apparently the caseworker who interviewed Charlie didn’t believe his story about the cataracts, and did not request a medical examination. Several months later, County Welfare determined that a mistake had been made, and Charlie was declared eligible for emergency assistance.

Charlie also found some relief at the food stamp office where he was determined eligible for $50 worth of food stamps a month. As Pat Hoppy, a food stamp worker familiar with Charlie’s plight says, “The stamps are keeping Charlie alive.”

“I stretch it,” Charlie says, “and I’m not a heavy eater so I can just about make it. In my younger days, I could eat a horse and a cow. But now I’m older, and I don’t eat so much.”

As we sit in his tiny room late one afternoon, the desperation that he must feel almost surfaces. “If they could make me see again I would gladly pay for the operation on the basis that I could get work when I could see again,” he tells me. “Even if I get eyesight in one eye, I can make it.” Then he catches himself and laughs softly. “Sometimes I tell myself, ’Old man, you may be peterin’ out, but you’re not gonna fall out.’ “

Irene Stinnett is a white-haired lady with smooth, brown skin, sparkling eyes, and a strong, lively voice. She enjoys asking people if they know where Savoy is, the tiny North Texas town where she was born in 1898.

For many years Mrs. Stinnett worked for a family in Highland Park, living in the servant’s quarters, until she was forced to quit about fifteen years ago because of arthritis. Today her world is a dark, tiny room in South Dallas in an old frame house cut up into apartments. Her two daughters died long ago, and her only son, as far as she knows, still lives in Lone Wolf. “He got kicked in the head by a horse, and it affected his mind,” she explains. She has out-lived two husbands.

Mrs. Stinnett spends almost all of her time in a bed surrounded by the clutter of necessities for a confined life – newspapers, pills, a radio, a lunch tray. On rare occasions she ventures out to the front porch with the aid of a walker. “I watch the cars pass, and I enjoy that very much,” she says, “but I gets swimmy-headed out there so I don’t do it very much.”

Mrs. Stinnett wakes early – “I hear the six o’clock news every morning”- but since she can’t cook for herself, she waits until noon for her first food, a hot meal delivered by a volunteer from Meals on Wheels.

Meals on Wheels is a service of the Visiting Nurse Association which provides approximately 160 hot meals a day to people scattered over Dallas County. The service is for those people, regardless of age, who are physically or emotionally unable to prepare a hot meal for themselves. The meals are delivered by volunteer drivers usually contacted through area churches.

Dr. Ruby Nell Ruth, V.N.A.’s warm, efficient director of nutrition services, explains that “we want Meals on Wheels to meet an emergency need, but we realize that for some people, it’s a long-term thing, but for many people just a week or two makes a world of difference. We serve a number of patients who have had cataract surgery, for instance. And sometimes, two weeks, a month, six weeks is what it takes for them to be able to start cooking for themselves again, and then they’re ready to go on.” Meals on Wheels is not a free program. Although the state Department of Public Welfare picks up the bill for welfare recipients, other recipients are charged according to their ability to pay.

Many recipients are like Irene Stinnett who has a sister who cooks for her in the evenings and on weekends but who works during the day. So Mrs. Stinnett depends on Meals on Wheels for her one other meal. “I don’t know what I’d do without it,” she says. “I sure enjoy it, and when it’s late, I sure raise Cain.”

When I visited the Thomas family for the first time with Patty Walker, a young, attractive case worker for County Welfare, it was raining. The Thomases live in a South Dallas housing project, and after we had waded through ankle-deep water to get to their apartment, it appeared as we looked through the front door, that we had come to the wrong address. The apartment was empty. But we discovered after Mr. Thomas invited us in that it’s empty because the Thomases own practically nothing.

“Everything just sorta went out from under me,” Eddie Thomas, a soft-spoken man of 40, explained as we stood in the living room. Two-year-old Ann, wearing a T-shirt and underpants, played at her father’s feet on the hard concrete floor. Upstairs, Mrs. Thomas, expecting her third child in a couple of months, sat on the bed playing with 5-year-old Francine. Two loaves of bread, some lunchmeat, and a can of milk for the baby was the only food in the house. The only kitchen utensil was a jar to drink out of. A roach running up the door frame must surely have been leaving.

Eddie Thomas was working in Alabama earlier this year when he started getting headaches and dizzy spells which eventually got so bad he had to quit work. He moved his family back to Dallas, hoping that his health would improve and that he could find work here. They moved in with his sister, but there was no way they could stay very long in a tiny house already bulging with eight people. Eddie, now under a doctor’s care at Parkland, has not been able to go back to work. Having worked occasionally as a cook, he knows how to stretch a food budget, he told me. “With a 75-cent pound of hamburger meat, I can make a meal to feed the family two or three times,” he said. But the Thomases had reached the point where even 75 cents was hard to come by.

If Eddie Thomas is declared totally disabled, he will received $116 a month, but the process will take several months. Meanwhile, Francine, the 5-year-old, obviously needs dental work. Her teeth started coming out long before the permanent ones were ready to come in. Chubby little Ann, who “eats twice as much as I can,” her father says, desperately needs those nutritious foods so important to a growing child. And the nutritional needs of another child, yet unborn, have already begun.

Each time I visit the Thomases, I come away haunted by the expression on their faces. Not anger, not rage, but resignation, a resignation bordering on despair. Anger and rage would be less frightening.

Last spring motorcycle clubs (no longer are they called gangs) from across the country congregated in Dallas for a week-long gathering. Eleven-year-old Joe, who lives across the street from the East Dallas clubhouse where the bikers frequently gathered, raced home from school every day to hang around the leather-jacketed conventioners, admiring their gleaming “choppers” with the outlandishly long front-wheel assemblies and the laid-back seats. When Lenny, president of the Detroit chapter of the Outlaws, took him for a ride around the neighborhood, it was the biggest thrill of Joe’s young life. “Did you tell your friends at school about riding with Lenny?” his father asked him. “No, I didn’t tell ’em,” he said. The experience itself was delicious enough. “Don’t nobody mess with this boy,” Lenny told his biker friends, “he’s my buddy.”

Joe Pike, bright-eyed, active, endlessly curious, has cancer. According to Joe’s mother, his spine has deteriorated to the sixth verterbra, and he already has endured seven operations on his urethra and bladder. Doctors at Children’s Medical Center plan to operate again as soon as Joe’s weight gets back up to what it is supposed to be. Depending on what they find, his spine will be repaired, and he’ll be in a body cast for ten months, or, in his mother’s words, “They’ll sew him back up and send him home to us to die.”

The Pikes live in a small apartment on Bryan Street in one of those cheap motel-style complexes scattered throughout East Dallas. This one bears the incongruous name “Bryan’s Song.” Joe’s father, the apartment manager, is a shy man in his mid-thirties who seems bewildered by his situation. He usually lets his wife do the talking. As apartment manager, Jim Pike’s salary is $100 a month, plus free rent for the $160-a-month apartment. Until Joe got sick, Jim was a house painter, but now he must stay nearby to get Joe to the hospital whenever he has to go. “Painting, you never know where you’re gonna be,” he explained. “You might be out in some new subdivision, and there wouldn’t be a phone available.”

The Pikes live on $100 a month plus $130 worth of food stamps for which they pay $27. When I talked to them, they owed $56 out of next month’s pay check to their landlord for an advance he had given them to cover some of Joe’s medical bills. That left $17 coming in for the month.

“The doctors want Joe to have four instant breakfasts a day to get his weight up,” Mrs. Pike told me, “but they’re at least 70 cents for a box of six, and I can’t afford it. It’s pitiful, but I can’t afford it.” Joe weighed 81 pounds three weeks before I visited the Pikes; on the day I visited, he weighed 71. Medical needs are not considered for food stamp allotments, only the number of people in a household.

“The food stamp card never gets here before the fifth so we struggle toward the end of the month,” Mrs. Pike said. “What we get with food stamps lasts anywhere from two to two and a half weeks, and that’s beans and spaghetti, things like that. When I go in and clean an apartment, I gather all the pop bottles and take ’em to the store and turn ’em in. A few nights ago, $5.30 worth of bottles bought our supper.

“You don’t go nowhere, you stay home 24 hours a day, you look at the same faces. A lot of people get away and go to Six Flags or something. That’s why we enjoyed the biker’s convention, it broke the monotony.”

Joe’s operation is scheduled for late summer – if his doctors think he’s strong enough for the ordeal. Lenny the Outlaw has promised to be there.

Families like the Pikes and the Thomases obviously need food and a lot of other things, but the complicated and cumbersome welfare apparatus with which all people in need must contend is not really equipped to help them. Aid to Families with Dependent Children (A.F.D.C), the program that most people are talking about when they discuss “welfare,” seems, for example, to support only the most broken families. Families receiving monthly A.F.D.C. checks must have children who lack support of a parent because of the parent’s death or continued absence (divorce, separation, desertion, imprisonment, etc.), or because that parent is mentally or physically unable to care for dependents. So Mr. Pike and Mr. Thomas would have to leave before their families got any help.

One way the children of the poor in Dallas secure a better meal, at least while they are in school, is through the national school lunch program, which has provided free lunches for thou[ sands of children since the 1968 69 school year. Out of approximately 144,000 students enrolled in Dallas pub lie schools, nearly 62,000 are receiving free lunches. Another 1,100 receive reduced-price meals each day. A special milk program helps to meet nutritional needs of children who probably would not get the milk elsewhere. And many Dallas schools participate in the school breakfast program, which has drawn the enthusiastic support of many teachers who have found that a child who has eaten breakfast is much more eager to learn.

At Crockett Elementary School in East Dallas, between 300 and 350 students eat breakfast every morning. Crockett, built in 1930, is the oldest school building in Dallas, and its principal, Dr. John Redd, is justifiably proud of its neat, high-ceilinged rooms with their large windows and ample space. He’s also enthusiastic about the breakfast program.

As we discussed the program early one morning in the old, spotlessly clean cafeteria at Crockett, students sitting at tables around us were having a breakfast of sweet rolls, link sausages, milk and orange juice. A little blonde girl came by to offer Dr. Redd a flower she had picked on the way to school; a boy about nine offered him a lollipop, and several children came by for a hug and a little attention.

He motioned toward several children of varying ages sitting together at one of the tables. “There’s four kids in that family. Their mother works in a bar, they don’t know where their father is, so they just kinda take care of each other. The oldest is in the fifth grade, and she looks out for them. The little boy sitting beside her has loss of hearing because his mother couldn’t get him over to Parkland for treatment.”

As we talked I noticed a Mexican-American woman sitting quietly between her two dark-haired little girls. She wasn’t eating, but Dr. Redd explained that she often came with her children to eat what the children didn’t want. I saw a little boy standing beside the garbage can also scanning each plate for leftovers.

Some of those same children have been getting lunch this summer at the East Dallas Christian Church through a summer recreation and education program called “I Can Do, Yo Puedo.” The nutritionally balanced lunches come through the YMCA under a special summer food program funded by the U.S.D.A. Approximately 150 children have lunch each day.

In West Dallas, the most economically depressed area of the city, a lifelong cycle of hunger and malnutrition often begins with a teen-age mother unable to get the kinds of food and health-care she and her child need. Forty-six percent of all live births in West Dallas are to mothers under 20 years of age, some as young as 13, compared to 6 percent in North Dallas. Of 1,011 babies born to West Dallas mothers in 1975, 500 were to mothers under 20 years of age. Frequently the young mother is both financially and emotionally incapable of providing the proper care. “The teen-age mother often has a very difficult time ever recovering from the social burdens that her pregnancy places on her,” Dr. Tom Moore of the federally funded Children and Youth Project points out. “Her pregnancy really commits the mother and baby to a life of poverty.”

Nineteen-year-old Brenda, an unnamed mother of three – ages 4, 3 md 2 – is a good example. A girl who becomes a mother at age 15 is already a nutritional risk, especially someont like Brenda who has lived on starchy junk foods all her life and who has never taken any diet precautions during her pregnancies. With no help raising her children, she is often despondent, frequently tired, and at night when her 2-year-old was younger, she frequently slept through his feeding times. So her children suffer as the poverty cycle moves into another generation.

It is significant that the mortality rate for infants under 28 days is 18.2 per 1,000 in West Dallas compared to 9.8 in areas of the city where the median income is $15,000 and above.

“The difference between those two figures is the difference in health care,” says Dr. Moore, who is also associate professor of pediatrics at Southwestern Medical School. The Children and Youth Project is trying to do something about that healthcare disparity. Four neighborhood clinics are now providing free comprehensive health care for children in those West Dallas census tracts where the infant mortality rate is high. And statistics already show that Children and Youth has cut the mortality rate in the patient population in contrast to other children and young people living in the same geographical area. The hospitalization rate for infants and children also has declined.

Part of the comprehensive health care available at Children and Youth’s Carver Clinic, on the grounds of the George Washington Carver Elementary School, is a program designed to help expectant mothers prevent the tragic results of infant malnutrition – malnutrition that often begins even before the child is born. Called W.I.C., it’s a supplemental food program sponsored by the Department of Agriculture for women, infants and children under the age of five. Under the W.I.C. system, mothers are provided milk, eggs, and other nutritionally valuable foods. Despite the mounds of paperwork characteristic of most government programs, W.I.C. is effective; however, it’s available only in West Dallas. (A program for South Dallas is in the planning stages.)

“The W.I.C. program is one of the few programs that tries to deal with problems beforethey arise,” Carolyn Thornton of the Dallas Community Council told me. It’s one way of helping to assure that children who are going to have a difficult time anyway will at least start out with a fighting chance.

Most of us never see hunger in Dallas, not just because we perhaps prefer to ignore unpleasant realities, but because hunger is so easy to ignore in this city. The areas where it is most prevalent – West Dallas, South Dallas, parts of East Dallas, parts of Oak Cliff – are almost self-contained communities many Dallasites never see except while whizzing by on the expressways.

And those agencies and individuals trying to help frequently need help themselves. Meals on Wheels, for instance, desperately needs volunteers to take food to people in West Dallas, many of whom are elderly and may very well die unless the food gets to them. Churches and synagogues, frequently called upon to fill in the gaps when state and local welfare agencies can’t meet emergency needs, can always use food, clothing, furniture, and appliances. And anywhere there are elderly people, in North Dallas and the suburbs as well as in the poverty areas, hunger is a potential problem unless a neighbor or relative is willing to help.

But beyond the immediate needs, there is also a need to begin to understand the scope of the hunger problem, to understand what a social worker with long exporience in West Dallas meant when he said he would just as soon not talk about hunger in Dallas because, he explained, “hunger’s not the problem.” Small comfort, I thought, to Charlie Jablonski and the Pikes and the Thomases and all the others who struggle every day of their lives to get enough for themselves and their families to eat. “No, hunger isn’t the problem,” he said. “The problem is that people are not given the opportunity to learn how to function in a complex society. The problem is discrimination, racism, no educational opportunities, no vocational training.”

His point, and it is one I often heard repeated, is that hunger is not an isolated issue; it is linked to the other problems of being poor. To treat it as an isolated issue is to risk indulging in some cheap and quickly forgotten sympathy for some perfectly respectable and normal poople, sympathy which at most might stimulate what a social worker in South Dallas called “Band-aid help,” while ignoring the basic problems.

What the basic problems are de pends on who you talk to. For some, it’s the need for a way of teaching peo ple how to function in a world that grows increasingly complex. For others, it’s the need to reform our cha otic welfare system. And for others, like Dr. Thomas Moore of West Dal las’ Children and Youth Project, it’s the need for a comprehensive program of health care for the poor. What they are all saying in their own way, how ever, is that the problems faced by the poor, including hunger, require the at tention of all of us – for the poor too are Dallas.

What You Can Do to Help

There are many federal, state and local agencies in Dallas funded with our tax dollars to help those unable to get food in any other way. But this process takes time and not everyone qualifies. The organizations listed below offer special help to those who can’t wait for welfare or are only in temporary need. Most of these groups prefer to work only with referrals from local professional agencies. All of them welcome donations of some kind – be it time, money or food. If you would like to know more about what they do and how you can help, call one of these numbers.

Methodism Breadbasket


Stew Pot/Park Place Ministry


Rev. Jack L. Moore, Director

Hunger Pantry238-8103

Rev. Bob Poteet

Food Pantry

Midway Hills Christian Church


Food Pantry

Oak Cliff Presbyterian Church


People’s Pantry

Northridge Presbyterian Church


Food Pantry

Northminster Presbyterian Church


Project Hope

St. John’s United Methodist Church


Mrs. Allen

Meals on Wheels

Visiting Nurse Association


Molly Stewart

Oak Cliff Churches for Emergency Aid



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