Fort Worth

Fraternity gives Thanksgiving meal to more than 500 Fort Worth families

Volunteer Mallory Medlock, 16, helps Johnie Davis with his box of food as families receive Thanksgiving food baskets at Bethlehem Center. Within 1 1/2 hours more than 500 families had received Thanksgiving food baskets, about half the number that organizers said needed the help.
Volunteer Mallory Medlock, 16, helps Johnie Davis with his box of food as families receive Thanksgiving food baskets at Bethlehem Center. Within 1 1/2 hours more than 500 families had received Thanksgiving food baskets, about half the number that organizers said needed the help. Special to the Star-Telegram

In about 90 minutes Saturday morning, more than 500 needy households got Thanksgiving baskets, thanks to Fort Worth Alumni chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity.

The need is great, but so was the response, said Daimyion Howard, one of the event organizers.

Between Sept. 15 and Oct. 15, chapter members gathered 90,000 cans of food to distribute to needy Fort Worth families for their Thanksgiving dinners, Howard said.

“There’s a huge need out there,” Howard said.

But the holiday meal is only part of the effort, Howard said. Getting people to sign up for help with Thanksgiving dinner gives Kappa members a chance to connect the needy with other services, such as tutoring, job search and literacy programs.

The fraternity partners with other agencies, with city officials, police officers, firefighters and other organizations, to bring valuable resources to the south-side area, Howard said.

“A lot of families are having issues putting food on the table,” Howard said. “And if you are having problems putting food on the table, often you are having issues in other areas.”

This is the first year United Community Centers is partnering with the Kappas, said Celia Esparza, UCC’s president and CEO.

United Community Centers is a nonprofit affiliated with the United Methodist Church and United Way of Tarrant County.

“The takeaway from this is that the people who come here will realize that someone is thinking of them this holiday season,” Esparza said.

Mitch Mitchell: 817-390-7752, @mitchmitchel3

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