Volunteer teams enjoyed a little friendly competition for the East Central Texas United Way annual food packaging event, held at Palestine Toyota Saturday. Ten teams, made up of 105 volunteers, packaged 35,000 meals in an hour-and-a-half.
“This event was a huge success,” said Tarah Thompson, director of the East Central Texas United Way. “This is the most fun annual volunteer event in Palestine.”
The meals from this event will go directly into the community to feed the hungry and less fortunate.
“The meals prepared will feed people in Palestine and help bridge the gap for youth who need meals during the summer,” Thompson said.
Local food pantries, including First Resource Center and Palestine Community Food Pantry, St. Vincent de Paul, Palestine Resource Center and Hope Station, will all receive meals from this event to give out to those in need.
“I am extremely impressed with our volunteers, and what they accomplished in such a short period of time,” Thompson said. “I’d like to thank Chuck Eldridge, owner of Palestine Toyota, for his sponsorship and allowing us to use the showroom for the event. And I’d like to thank his staff for everything they do to help us with this event. They truly go above and beyond.”
This year’s sponsors include Palestine Toyota, ONCOR, Rennerwood Inc., Palestine Regional Medical Center, Palestine Air and Heat, Commercial Bank of East Texas, Southside Bank, Landmark Realty, Jon Rhone’s Shaved Ice, Railyard Customs & Collisions, Chloe & Claire Company and Kimberly Grayson – State Farm Insurance.
This was the only food packaging event to be held this year.
Although they did not hold one in June 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the East Central Texas United Way, with the help of 40 volunteers and the members of Southside Baptist Church, packaged 50,000 meals in November 2020.
The East Central Texas United Way has packaged over 300,000 meals for our food pantries since the inception of this event in 2016.
Churches and local food pantries that would like to receive food packages from this event in the future should contact Tarah Thompson at the East Central Texas United Way Office, 1000 N. Church in Palestine, or by calling 903-727-8798.