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Minnie’s Food Pantry extends service days, partners with Plano ISD to help with coronavirus demand



PLANO, TX – Minnie’s Food Pantry in Plano is expanding its service days to meet demand by those who are experiencing food insecurity due to business or school closures from the coronavirus outbreak.

The pantry’s new days of operation are Monday through Saturday, up from its previous four days of service. Hours will be from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.

“I am now asking my staff to come and work six days per week, so that made the decision difficult,” Minnie’s founder Cheryl Jackson said. “But we will adjust the shifts. The need is there right now in our community.”

Minnie’s saw a 23% increase in new clients last week, with 150 new families receiving meal boxes filled with cereal, canned fruits and vegetables, and snacks.

“These people have never been to Minnie’s before,” Jackson said in a prepared statement. “They never found themselves in a position where they need food assistance.”

Many of the new clients were families directly affected by extended school closures, Jackson said. As a result, the nonprofit partnered with Plano ISD to serve families whose households may face food insecurity.

Plano ISD has roughly 16,000 students living in homes considered food-insecure, according to the nonprofit.

“This hunger is an epidemic, as well, and it has no preference for ethnicity. It doesn’t discriminate,” Jackson said. “Everybody is finding themselves in a place they never thought they would be.”

Minnie’s began providing drive-through food service at four Plano ISD schools: Meadows and Thomas elementary schools and Armstrong and Frankford middle schools. Drive-through service will be offered every other week, and delivery locations may differ week to week.

As demand for food increases, Jackson said, donations from the community have also risen. Needs are being filled through the nonprofit’s Amazon wish list, monetary donations and food drop-offs from members of the community.