TARRANT COUNTY (1080 KRLD)- The Tarrant Area Food Bank and Meals on Wheels of Tarrant County received a donation of 20,000 "meal replacement" shakes Wednesday morning. The shakes were donated by Kate Farms.
"There's a huge issue of food insecurity and the marginalized," says Kate Farms' Linda Brucker. "It's our honor to be able to provide that type of nutrition for our community."
The shakes are plant-based and include nutrients to replace a meal. Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price says 11% of residents were "food insecure" before the pandemic; she says that number may have increased as high as 20%.
"People may not have refrigeration, they just need something easy because they have no ability to cook," she says. "It's a great program. I love this because it's all fruits and vegetables, no preservatives, no chemicals added. This is another step to add to community health."
Meals on Wheels of Tarrant County Chief Executive Carla Jutson says demand on the organization has increased 30% since March. She says the group is now serving meals to 3,000 people daily.
"We have had a huge increase in the number of people who have wanted Meals on Wheels who are food-insecure, who are sheltering in place or disabled," she says.
Jutson says part of the reason for the spike in demand is many recipients of Meals on Wheels are elderly and more likely to be affected if they contract COVID-19.
"Either their family is no longer able to purchase things for them, whether it's a loss of jobs, and they themselves don't have the financial resources, or they're afraid to get out as well," she says.
The Tarrant Area Food Bank has continued "mobile pantries." The food bank plans to continue weekly events at Herman Clark Stadium in Fort Worth each Friday morning from 8-11 a.m. through November 30.