Local Lions pivot to food assistance

Manna House, pantry to help civic organization fight hunger in Ellis County

Bill Spinks
Midlothian Mirror
Members of the Midlothian Lions Club will be participating in a local food pantry event to assist families this Saturday morning at the Midlothian Civic Center on South 11th Street. The event will be held along with the North Texas Food Bank in partnership with Manna House.

The Midlothian Lions Club traditionally has held a benefit breakfast twice a year to raise funds for local charities. This spring, as the COVID-19 pandemic hopefully winds down, the civic organization and other Lions chapters in Ellis County are skipping the middle step in a sense and coming to the aid of local families in need more directly.

The local Lions Clubs of Midlothian, Waxahachie and Ennis will be cooperating to hold food events this Saturday, March 27, to help take care of food-insecure families in their communities.

In Midlothian, the local Lions chapter will be holding a Feed Midlothian Event along with the North Texas Food Bank in partnership with Manna House.  The event will be held from 8 a.m. through noon at the Midlothian Civic Center, 224 South 11th Street.

“We want to get as many people involved as possible,” Midlothian Lions president Gary Vineyard said. “We’re spreading (the word) to local churches and local community organizations. It’s not based on any type of income; it’s first-come, first-serve and open to the public.”

Vineyard said the Midlothian Lions will distribute about 230 pounds of food during the event, which will be provided by the North Texas Food Bank. Each of the three participating Ellis County Lions Club chapters will share in the logistics of shipment and will be holding their own drives to benefit their communities with the same amount of distribution.

Vineyard said Lions Club International gave the local chapters a grant and North Texas Food Bank donated the food. The only hurdle was finding a truck to ship the food, which has been sorted out, he added.

The event will take place in the field-side parking lot at the Civic Center and will be ongoing while supplies last. One vehicle per family will be allowed. Volunteers will assist patrons, and the Lions ask that trunks should be cleared and open for quick loading.

Vineyard, who is also a Midlothian Independent School District trustee, said he was grateful for the assistance of Manna House in the Lions Club event.

“Manna House is basically the storehouse and the hub where they took in the food from the North Texas Food Bank and allowed Ennis, Waxahachie and Midlothian to pick up the shipments that were allotted,” he said. “Manna House is holding and storing our food until (this) Saturday at their facility, and they’ll be bringing it to us.”