Cars and trucks lined up along the northbound edge of FM 1417 in Sherman Friday morning, drivers anxiously awaiting the gates of MasterKey Ministries to swing open. Volunteers, bundled up against the chilling wind, hurried to sort and bag apples, oranges and cabbage, unload potatoes and fill baskets with watermelons brought in on a North Texas Food Bank.
It was the second week for the new fresh produce giveaway being overseen by MasterKey Ministries and its partner, Feed My Sheep. The special giveaway is being held from 10 a.m. to noon Fridays at MasterKey Ministries and is open to any Grayson County resident needing food. No proof of income is required, just a valid identification, proof of residence, proof of the number of household members or a MasterKey Ministry case card.
Organizers and volunteers were in high spirits after weathering the first week, which drew only 30 families thanks to the almost single-digit temperatures and freezing precipitation.
“The goal is to try and have at least 100 families come each week, so they’ll keep bringing the food up to us. You can come every single week and receive the fresh produce,” Carolyn Cherry of Feed My Sheep said. “The produce available is determined by the North Texas Food bank and will vary week to week. … It’s for any Grayson County resident and they don’t have to be getting food from the food pantry. We want to get the word out to everybody and let them know (about the giveaway). You don’t have to qualify financially.”
Crystal Brooks, food coordinator at MasterKey, said the fresh produce program is fantastic.
“It’s going to be giving great nutrition to our community and it’s going to help our children to grow and be nourished,” Julie Rickey, founder of MasterKey, said. “And the people are very appreciative of them bringing the food up to us.”
To help the new Friday program run smooth, Rickey said that volunteers are needed.
“We’re looking for people who can be here at like 9:30 a.m. and other people who can come from 10 until 12,” Rickey said. “There are people out there separating and people handling the intake to process.”
For more information on the fresh produce giveaway, the food pantry or volunteering, contact MasterKey Ministries at 903-771-2816.