UNITED WAY WEDNESDAY: Shopping with dignity at the Hunger Project Grocery Store

How the United Way helps Catholic Charities of the Texas Panhandle

UNITED WAY WEDNESDAY: Shopping with dignity at the Hunger Project Grocery Store

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - More than 800 people depend on the Catholic Charities of the Texas Panhandle InterFaith Hunger Project so they won’t go hungry.

Their Hunger Project Grocery Store offers those who have fallen on hard times a way to provide for themselves and their family with dignity.

Priscilla Bristow has been shopping at the Hunger Project Grocery Store for nearly three decades. When she was 55, a physical injury no longer allowed her to work. She now receives $15 a month for food stamps, which is all the money she has to purchase food.

“That’s it," said Bristow. "And my budget is usually, well, last month I had $6 in my bank account, which that was it.”

Shopping at the Hunger Project Grocery Store allows Bristow to use her limited money on other essentials, like bills and gas to drive. It also gives her the freedom of picking the food she wants and needs for her diet.

When her allotted money for the month runs out, she can still pick up free items donated by the High Plains Food Bank.

“I depend a lot on the free stuff because that’s where you get your fruits and vegetables and things like that," said Bristow. “So yeah, it’s been very beneficial."

Bristow isn’t alone. Several clients stop by daily just for the free items.

“We see some of the same clients every day the store is open," explained Hunger Project Coordinator Maribel Burton.

Burton added that funding from the United Way of Amarillo and Canyon is essential in keeping the store open.

“We wouldn’t have hardly any of this stuff if we didn’t have funding from them," said Burton. "We’re based probably 80 to 90 percent on donations. We do get grants, but when people come through that money goes really, really fast.”

But even with help from the United Way, it’s not always easy keeping these shelves stocked. That’s where the Bags of Hope come in.

You can pick up a Bag of Hope at the Hunger Project Grocery Store, fill it up the next time you go grocery shopping and then return it.

“Those bags are very, very important to us because our shelves are empty sometimes for two months and those bags will fill the shelves for people to come shop," said Burton.

Clients like Bristow have a message for all who make the grocery store possible...

“Thank you,” said Bristow. “Because it’s made a big difference and I don’t know what we would do without it.”

If you would like to join this year’s campaign efforts to raise $4 million for organizations like the Catholic Charities of the Texas Panhandle InterFaith Hunger Project, you can contact the United Way by calling (806) 376-6359.

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