The three-year old Living Word Family Church provides food to approximately 500 to 600 Cooke County families monthly and has about 50 volunteers to help distribute food to area residents in need.
Living Word Family Church is located at 302 S. Dixon St. and provides hope for many that need hope.
“We’re here to help people get back on their feet,” founder Charles Waldroup said.
Living Word is a non-profit organization that was formed by Charles and Carla Waldroup who said they felt led to Cooke County to form a food pantry ministry.
Volunteers help unload the weekly delivery truck, sort and stock, pack and distribute food. About 15 pallets of food are taken from a semi-trailer every Monday morning.
Food donations are provided by the Tarrant Area Food Bank and Feeding America and private donations from individuals and organizations who have partnered with Living Word Ministries. Funds are also provided by the ReSale Store located at 110 E. Pecan St.
Each family receives about five grocery sacks of food that includes one of just vegetables and will feed a family of four for a week.
The food pantry has increased assistance to Cooke County residents during its three years as more families discover the ministry.
In 2011, the food pantry provided assistance to 1,206 families; in 2012, assistance was provided to 3,927 families; and in 2013, assistance was provided to 5,483 families. To date In 2014 assistance has been provided to approximately 2,500 families.
“We assist children, adults, families, seniors and the homeless in our community,” Waldroup said. “They come from all different ethnic backgrounds. They may be employed with low wages, unemployed living on social security, social security disability or public assistance. They are those who, after paying rent, utilities and medical bills, plus unexpected expenses, find themselves with not enough money to buy food or provide clothing for themselves and their families.”
Waldroup has a goal to eventually deliver food to homebound residents.
“We are running out of space,” Charles Waldroup said. “We recently bought three new triple door refrigerators. When we outgrow this building, I don’t know where we’ll go.”
Living Word Church also assists local agencies with food items that includes Abigail’s Arms and ABBA and recently sent a semi-trailer with food to an area in New Mexico where residents were in need.
To receive food a client must complete an application for benevolent services on their first visit and annually thereafter. Clients will be eligible to receive food assistance every 30 days. Emergency bags are available if food assistance is needed sooner. Each client is provided a list of daily grocery choices from which they can choose, canned, dry goods, meats, produce, breads and pastries.
Sammie and Dwight Doyle of Gainesville were recently recognized as Volunteers of the Year by Living Word Family Church at the Woolf Den in Gainesville. Together, they donated approximately 1,510 hours to the food pantry ministry. All volunteers were recognized in May for their part in volunteering and assisting with the food pantry.
The food pantry hours are from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
“If people come for food, I’ll make sure they get food,” Charles Waldroup said.