The Help Center had its monthly food distribution program on Monday, November 28. This month, they supplemented their usual items with produce from a Flex Farm, a vertical hydroponics device that the center obtained using a grant. Each fourth Monday of the month, the center opens its food pantry to families in need. They get anywhere from 100 to 200 families on those days, CEO and Founder Twanna Jones said. At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, that number got as high as 500.
Those numbers aren't meant to impress you — Jones said the center's goal "is not to see long lines — we want to see people become self-sufficient." As an example, Jones said to have once met a woman who was living entirely out of her car — Jones secured for her a job interview that very day. When she has a job, she could go into housing and eventually turn to volunteer work to give back. That, Jones said, is what "reshapes our community and the nation, is all of us working together."
Reshaping the community is why she founded the Help Center — you can't change things without action, Jones said. Seeing her parents and grandparents do the same inspired her to follow suit. "I don't have riches and gold to pass down to our four kids," Jones said. "What I can pass down to them is to love and be kind, be compassionate, whatever you can do, do something. Make a difference."
As for why the organization obtained a Flex Farm, Jones said, "We want our community to receive fresher food options. Sometimes, it's harder to get those in the winter months... This right here is an alternative for families.
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