Cleburne Times-Review, Cleburne, TX

Grandview

July 16, 2010

Food bank marks a year of benevolence

The year-old Grandview Food & Clothing Bank has something to do with Grandview Seventh-day Adventist Church. The church facilitates and sponsors the operation near the Interstate 35 Grandview city limits sign just north of Exit 16.

It has everything to do with needy people, who find their way to the facility every Tuesday from 5-6 p.m. Margie and Bob Bullock dispense nourishing eats, good cheer and heaping portions of faith. The Bullocks, other church members and supporters will be gathering at the cozy facility at 4 p.m. Sunday to formally celebrate the anniversary.

Margie awaits the day with her typically infectious smile.

“Bob and I spend 12 to 15 hours a week at this,” she said. “We make up most of the [food] boxes. We do four boxes at a time, and we have a set way of doing it. It’s lots of fun but lots of work.”

Grandview Food & Clothing Bank was partly the brainchild of the Bullocks, who came to Johnson County from Kansas seven years ago.

“At the church there, we had a basket that [members of the congregation] would use to bring food for needy families,” Margie said. “When we came here, that’s something we were able to get started. We asked people to bring food we could store at the church. When people need it, they need it now, not next week.

“We served 50 to 60 families a year and quite a few couples with children from Keene who didn’t have many groceries. That’s how we got started. Then one day at church, Bud Bradbury came to me and said, ‘Margie, how would you like to do this on a bigger scale?’ ”

Bigger? It was already a trainload.

Margie said, “I asked Bud, ‘What do you mean? We don’t have any other place to store things, and we keep this place pretty full.’ He said he was thinking about a food bank.

“Bud said he’d been inquiring around Fort Worth to see how those food banks work. He talked to them to see what it would take. Then he went to the church board and said he would furnish the materials for the building if the church members would help build it. Bud is 83. He was a builder and contractor around here for many years. Another man contributed the plumbing and another man the electricity. The trenches were dug for water and a septic system. We have our own well.

“There were times we had eight to 10 people working on the building, and we had some of the ladies from the church come and paint.”

They haven’t quit striving.

Margie’s dream is an extension to the building to handle cold storage and a large freezer.

“We’ve already got $3,000 donated for when we start adding on,” she said, beaming. “I get things like frozen chickens.”

Nothing stays on the shelves for long at Grandview Food & Clothing Bank.

“We buy from Tarrant Area Food Bank,” Margie said. “Our day to buy is 8:30 on Monday mornings. We spend $200 to $400 per month, and $100 buys quite a few groceries. The food is a lot cheaper when we get it there. For instance, I can get a 40-pound box of canned goods for $7. They all but give us potatoes.”

The bill is paid with money donated for that purpose. Donations are common.

“We operate strictly by donations,” Margie said. “A man came by one day and gave us 12 dozen eggs. Another man gave us $65. Before Thanksgiving last year, the grade school and middle school at Grandview took up over 2,000 canned goods and donated them. The high school gave us food at Christmas.”

Volunteers can build up credit by working at Tarrant Food Bank for $5.15 per hour.

“That goes to us for groceries,” Margie said. “One day, a group of eight from Huguley Hospital worked up there and gave the money to us.”

Some of the food requires no money.

“All our bread and pies and cakes are free,” Margie said. “They’re donated by bakeries and stores when the products aren’t sold by [a specific] date.”

Grandview Food & Clothing Bank serves 45 to 50 families a month.

“Sometimes, it’s a little more,” Margie said. “This month, we’ve already had six. They can come once a month, but I’ve told women who have no income that if they need more groceries, they can come back before the month is over. On the application they fill out, we ask what their income is, but I can serve anybody once if they say they’re needy.”

Grandview Food & Clothing Bank is a welcoming place for grown-ups, also for little ones.

“Kids love to come get the boxes,” Margie said. “I always have candy and gum for them.”

For more information, call Grandview Seventh-day Adventist Church at 817-866-2316.

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