MCLENNAN COUNTY, Texas — The Holidays are creeping closer along with the bills and money spent on food and gifts.
Luckily, The Shepherd's Pantry in Mclennan County is here to support families in need, but they need some help this year.
The pantry has served 20,000 more people than they did in 2021. Volunteers said this is because of rising costs.
Volunteers have noticed something they've never seen before.
"What we see this year is what we would normally call middle income families," The Shepherd's Heart Pantry Executive Director, Robert Gager, said.
Gager added that these families come to their mobile pantries in need, wondering whether they qualify or not. His response is always, if they come, he will feed them.
"With the economy the way it is you know, gas going up, groceries going up, bills going up, every little bit helps as they say, you know," J.R. Lay, who received food from the pantry, said.
Emmitt Jones and his wife made their way to the pantry last week to collect food for themselves and their community.
They only started coming to the pantry three months ago because of how costly it has become to live.
"Not only food but high cost of utilities you know, light bills, phone bills and water bills, everything is up high," Jones said.
Jones added that he lives off of two retirements, but because of how high prices are, he and his community rely on the pantry for food.
The worry now is how many kids the pantry will have to serve come the Holiday season.
The 'Toys from the Heart' drive will soon open, and Gager expects to see two to three-thousand kids who need toys or clothes.
The goal of the drive is to receive food, toys, and monetary donations from the community and give back to less fortunate families in McLennan County.
The pantry asks that anyone and everyone come out to volunteer or donate so that everyone can receive what they need/want this Holiday season.
Click here to learn more about the 'Toys from the Heart' drive.