A message from ACO Chief Operating Officer,
MARJORIE VANESKAHIAN BURR
I'm going to tell you a story. Some of you have heard me tell this before, but it is an important story- and a true story. Not long after I began working at ACO in 2001 (Yikes, yes I have been around THAT LONG!), I was working as ACO's Volunteer Director and we had some wonderful volunteers helping at our front desk since we did not have a full-time receptionist.
One day the front desk volunteer came to me in tears. She said, "I just can't do this!" I asked her WHY was she crying. Seems as though a young mother had come into the office that morning asking for help with food. In 2001 ACO had no food pantry- just a basket in the lobby with some bread donated from the local grocery stores and a small stash of canned Spaghettios, tuna and such in a closet for emergencies. This volunteer explained to the mom that she could give her a voucher to take to the local church food pantry, but that they wouldn't be open until the next afternoon.
Her little boy, hearing this, started crying and said, "BUT MOMMY, YOU SAID THAT WE COULD EAT TODAY!
That's a powerful story. This was an Allen family. She wasn't homeless and passing through or coming to ACO from Dallas. And this family and many others like them are the very reason that the ACO Food Pantry exists today. No child has to wait another day to eat. The pantry is open for shopping appointments and emergency food bags of groceries are always available to any family in need.
I hugged that volunteer that day, with tears in my eyes as well. And I reminded her that because ACO is here, and because volunteers and donors make it possible we did make sure that child had food to eat that day, even if it was from our small supplies in the closet, and we would keep working to someday have a larger pantry at ACO.
This past May, our Food Pantry gave out 62,749 pounds of food to more than 400 families. That's equal to more than 52,000 meals! Just a few more than we gave out that day in 2001.
Hunger is still a real problem in Collin County. 1 in 4 children are food insecure. ACO works each day to fight hunger and homelessness, but we cannot do it without the help of our neighbors.
Please, this summer GIVE WHERE YOU LIVE. See more about our summer campaign below.