United Way donates 15K to The Love Basket

Rachel Tuggle

TheFlashToday.com

ERATH COUNTY (April 27, 2016) – The Love Basket, a local food pantry in Dublin, received a $15,000 grant from the Erath County United Way this month. Officials said this donation will allow the food pantry to continue to provide essentials to locals in need.

“We serve anyone in Erath County that comes in and says they’re in need of food assistance,” Love Basket coordinator Barbara Sissom said. “We don’t really have any qualifications except that they reside in Erath County.”

The Love Basket began in the fall of 2005 when Sissom and her husband, Ray’s, Sunday school class at the Patrick Street Church of Christ decided to collect donations for an entirely different cause. After a hurricane hit Louisiana, five families were going to be relocated to Dublin by the government.

“[We] decided we would get together some pantry items and basic necessities to help people get started when they got here,” Sissome said.  “So, we collected a bunch of stuff, and then the government changed their minds and they didn’t come. So we had all this food and paper towels and stuff, and we decided, well we have to do something with it.”

For two years, The Love Basket operated out of the Patrick Street Church of Christ. But, after Dr. Charles Crabtree, who was very involved with the organization getting started, passed away, the Sissoms took charge of the food pantry.

“It takes about a minimum of 35-40 hours a month to keep it going,” Sissoms explained. “So you pretty much have to be retired or not working to run it. It just kind of naturally evolved to us. We just feel like it’s what God wants us to be doing.”

Now, The Love Basket runs from 207 E. Elm Street in Dublin. Pam Crabtree, Dr. Crabtree’s wife, allows the food pantry to use one of her buildings free of charge.

“It’s something I think is important- to help people that have food shortages,” Crabtree said. “My husband and I were both really interested in it.”

The Love Basket receives money from local fundraisers throughout the year. They have a “Food and Funds” drive at Brookeshire Brothers in early summer, the library hosts a “Food for Fines” program and participants in the Saint Patrick’s Day parade donate food. The Love Basket also receives the grant from Erath County United Way.

“We’re funded entirely by local donations, plus the annual grant that so far we’ve been getting from [Erath County United Way],” Sissoms said. “They’ve been quite supportive. Lots of people in the community are really supportive.”

To donate or volunteer at The Love Basket, message them on their Facebook page.

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