Since it opened in November 2023, Richardson-based Local Good Pantry has rapidly become a resource for many local families facing food insecurity.

According to Local Good Pantry Director Tracy Parlin, the nonprofit, has seen an increase in demand as it steps in to fill the void left by the closing of a neighboring pantry.

What you need to know

Since its opening in November 2023, the pantry has seen a 350% increase in weekly clients, largely driven by increasing food costs and living expenses that have forced many families to make difficult choices between essentials like food and medicine, Parlin said.

In addition to providing food, Local Good Pantry also provides essential items like diapers, wipes and laundry soap, Parlin said.

She added that there are days when the pantry sees more than 68 new applicants.

"It's heartbreaking to witness the growing need in our community, but it strengthens our resolve to do everything we can to support our neighbors," Parlin said.

What else?

As summer progresses, Parlin anticipates even higher demand, particularly on Saturdays, when school provided summer meal services are not available.

Ensuring quality and dignity in their services is paramount for Local Good Pantry, Parlin said. She added that pantry workers follow strict protocols from the Food and Drug Administration and The Emergency Food Assistance Program when receiving and distributing food.

All of the food at the pantry comes from retail partners and the North Texas Food Bank.

"Our volunteers are trained to prioritize quality, ensuring that our neighbors receive nutritious and safe food," Parlin said.

With the number of clients expected to increase, Parlin said Local Good Pantry plans to expand operations, increase food pickups from retail partners, and collaborate closely with partner that no one seeking assistance is turned away.

"We want to make sure we're caring for our neighbors," Parlin said. “It's about meeting our neighbors where they are and ensuring they leave with items they can use.”

What’s Next

Looking ahead, Local Good Pantry is seeking partnerships and expanding its volunteer base to sustain vital community services. Parlin and her team are actively seeking partnerships with 12 local businesses to sponsor food boxes, a crucial initiative amid rising costs.

The pantry is seeking to recruit more volunteers to increase capacity and outreach efforts by distributing food to provide essential support to neighbors.

"We're constantly evaluating how we can better serve our community," she noted. "Balancing increased demand with our capacity to provide quality service is key as we navigate these challenging times."