The North Texas Food Bank and Fair Park First held their fourth distribution event at Fair Park Tuesday, serving nearly 8,000 cars.
For the first time, the mobile pantry also served people who walked up at the Fair Park DART station.
"The need doesn't go away," says Valerie Hawthorne, the director of government relations at the food bank. "We've seen it go up, and we've seen it go down, and we've seen it come back up again. That's why we're out here today."
Hawthorne says demand started to dip as bars and restaurants began opening, but demand went back up as additional restrictions were put in place. Since the pandemic started, she says the North Texas Food Bank has held 185 distribution events, mostly at churches and smaller locations.
The food bank and Fair Park had asked people not to line up before 7 a.m. Tuesday. The distribution was scheduled from 8 a.m. to 11, but some still lined up outside Gate 2 about 5 a.m.
"If everybody comes at seven, I just can't imagine how long this line would be and how long it would take," said the woman at the front of the line.
"They're a blessing," said the man in the car behind her. "They're a blessing to a lot of people."
Many in line said they had never needed help from a food bank before the pandemic.
People walking up to the DART station were encouraged to bring a tote bag or cart to haul away food. Each person who walked up or came in a car was given a box of non-perishable food and a box of fruits and vegetables.