Eastside Ministries in Fort Worth starts rebuilding food pantry after blaze

dfwnewsa | March 2, 2024 | 0 | Fort Worth , Fort Worth News

Eastside Ministries in Fort Worth starts rebuilding food pantry after blaze

Debris scattered throughout Eastside Ministries’ food pantry on Nov. 29, 2023. The pantry caught on fire in the early morning hours of Nov. 28. An estimated 50 tons, and $30,000, of food was lost. (Matthew Sgroi | Fort Worth Report)
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In some ways, the fire that ruined Eastside Ministries’ food pantry is a blessing in disguise for Diane Moore, the nonprofit’s leader.

A lot of people asked her how she could say such a thing, but she believes as a result of the fire more people are now aware of Eastside’s services.

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“We have a lot of new donors and volunteers now who didn’t even know we existed, or thought all we did was provide food,” Moore said.

Getting back on their feet has been a challenge for the nonprofit, but Moore is hopeful as the organization rebuilds. Rebuilding the food pantry could take anywhere from six to eight weeks once reconstruction efforts begin, Moore said.

The fire occurred on Nov. 28 and caused an estimated $50,000 in damage, according to a news release. 

The Fort Worth Fire Department initially declared the fire accidental, according to a spokesperson. However, investigators ultimately determined that the fire, along with three others in the area, was set intentionally.

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Eastside Ministries keeps a record of everyone they serve. Moore’s pantry manager looked up the suspect’s name in their system. The person’s name came up on the screen, she said.

“Why would you come and destroy something that has helped you, your family and others in the community?” Moore said.

The food pantry is still closed, but Eastside Ministries is doing what it can to serve those in need.

Currently, food is distributed directly from the pantry’s delivery truck. People sign up for a food ticket so they can pick up what they need, Moore said. 

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With the help of staff members and volunteers, they’re working through their difficulties, Moore said.

“We had to move our feelings out the way and get things done,” she said. “What we do is not for us, it’s for our clients.”

To help offset costs associated with the fire, Texas Health Resources gave a $10,000 grant to Eastside Ministries after hearing about the incident, according to a news release.

Texas Health rallied behind Eastside Ministries to ensure that people depending on the food bank could be fed, said Kimberlin Moore, program manager of community health improvement.

“That’s our way of letting people know that we’re here to help you in your time of need,” she said.

The grant awarded to Eastside Ministries will help with some of the repairs needed and purchasing food to restock the pantry. 

“Everything helps,” Moore said.

Disclosure: Texas Health Resources is a financial supporter of the Fort Worth Report. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.

Keyla Holmes is a reporting fellow for the Fort Worth Report. You can contact her at keyla.holmes@fortworthreport.org.

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