Updated: May 16, 2018
A new home, a new name and a new year will make 2018 special for Aimee Brown and more than 20 volunteers who work with her. Aimee is the Director of the Floral Heights Community Food Pantry, a partner agency that works with the Wichita Falls Area Food Bank to distribute food to hungry people in our community.
In October 2016 Muller Inc. and project partner Texas Country Reporter donated a new building for Floral Heights Community Food Pantry. It took three days to raise the steel bones and exterior walls.
Grateful to have the structure, it was the first of many steps to come. For a year Brown, Executive Director of FHCFP, Ronna Prickett, FHCFP board chairwoman and supporters worked tirelessly to raise enough funds to complete the project.
Good news in November changed everything.
“Thanks to a $100,000 grant we’re going to finish the whole thing without borrowing a cent,” Brown said, clearly excited, “We’re doing good right now but the new building will make it possible to help even more people.”
Prickett prepared the grant application with help from her husband Brad.
“Brad does the numbers and I write the text,” said Ronna. “We submitted the application on a Sunday, the board met on Monday and on Tuesday morning we got a call.”
The grant will be enough to finish the new pantry. Electrical, plumbing, sheet rock and paint, office space, rest rooms, a large food bagging area, security system, a receiving dock big enough for large trucks as well as brick details on the exterior and landscaping are planned. The Junior League of Wichita Falls Opportunity Knocks program gave $2,500 for new tables and chairs.
Looking toward a busy future, the decision was recently made to “rebrand” the pantry.
They’re in the process of developing a new name. “Too many people were getting the wrong impression, that we only served the Floral Heights neighborhood. We provide food to hungry people in the surrounding area.”
Brown has watched FHCFP grow since 1979. After Terrible Tuesday, when a tornado struck Wichita Falls, Floral Heights Methodist Church associate pastor Dr. Bill Jacobs and four churchmen established the pantry to help families during long months of recovery.
The need for food assistance continues. The loss of a job, seasonal layoffs, seniors living on fixed incomes, prescription costs and medical expenses effect many lives.
Monday, Tuesday and Thursday are pantry days, 9:30-11 a.m. There’s always a line of people waiting for the doors to open.
“The Tuesday before Thanksgiving 119 people came to pick up food,” said Pam Brown, Aimee’s daughter and longtime pantry volunteer. “We’re not just here to feed people physically, we’re here to feed their souls.”
by Judith McGinnis