Food distribution

8694 (left) Reginald Cooper, a Vietnam veteran, (center) Country Justus and Laurie Ann Cook use cords to tie boxes and bags of food onto a low cart that would be pulled behind a bicycle after they received supplies from CTLC in Temple on Tuesday January 12, 2021 Nan Dickson/Special to the Telegram

Clusters of shopping carts filled with canned food and fresh produce were quickly unloaded into the back of residents’ cars Tuesday at Churches Touching Lives for Christ in Temple.

The food was part of the organization’s two weekly food donations, held on Tuesdays and Saturdays, giving away an assortment of food to those in need.

Chris Ballard, director for the organization, said the organization has remained short-staffed due to the coronavirus pandemic, though many volunteers still turned out to help distribute food.

“We need more than what we have here, we are short of volunteers due to the coronavirus,” Ballard said. “We are short of those volunteers during the week because they work, or I just got a text today from some sweet people that said, ‘We love volunteering here but COVID is so bad.’”

Ballard said that while the organization has received volunteer help during the weekends from church groups, their weekday food pantries have seen fewer volunteers.

She encouraged all those who have community service hours, or know how to operate a pallet jack, to consider spending that time at the food pantry.

Elder Greysen Vickery, with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was at the food bank donating his time and said he and other workers have been good about keeping safe.

Vickery said while he, and other missionaries like him, have not been able to interact and visit people in the same way that they used to, volunteering has been a good alternative.

“We just like to offer service to people because with everything happening to the world today, especially with the coronavirus, there is not a whole lot we can do besides this,” Vickery said. “So we at least try to come out here and service people in this way.”

As the weather has gotten colder, Ballard said the organization is looking for more sleeping bags and heaters to be donated that they can help pass out.

TO DONATE:

People interested in making a donation to Churches Touching Lives for Christ may send a check to P.O. Box 5, Temple TX 76503 or visit ctlcministries.org/donations.html. People wanting to volunteer may call 254-778-6885 or visit ctlcministries.org.