– An UPDATE from Marjorie Vaneskahian Burr, ACO CEO –

Dear ACO Friends and Supporters,
While so much of the buildings you drive by are empty, I assure you that 801 E. Main Street is busy inside.
Calls and requests for food continue to increase. More than half of our inquiries are from first-time families who have never been to ACO for help. Many have never been out of work before or without a paycheck. And, many have never faced empty pantries and refrigerators. It’s scary.

The overall impact of COVID-19 on our community and the increased need has been huge. We have seen the number of families reaching out for assistance more than double- all impacted with job loss, inability to keep food on their table and the additional costs incurred with having all family members at home 24/7.

We are helping as many as 10 local families each day who are struggling to stay in their home. We are providing a car filled with groceries for 300+ families each week. (That number could easily double by next week!) We’ve taken our mobile food pantry out to rural Collin County twice in the past month, feeding an additional 150+ families each time.
Struggles aren’t just numbers at ACO, endless phone calls for help, or cars pulling up to receive groceries. Struggle and despair is on face after face in that car coming for food they desperately need to feed their children. Panic, fear and tears are on the faces of single moms who lost their only source of income and families for the first time who do not have a safety net. ACO is committed to be their calm, their support and their extended hand to guide them through this crisis.
TODAY, we have food to feed families. TODAY we have funding to help pay their rent or keep their utility bill current. But in a few days or weeks….it is hard to predict what we will have. In another 4-6 weeks, we expect the need to exceed our capacity to serve these families if we do not have additional funding and resources. Urgent funding and food are critical.
Thank you to all who have reached out and asked how you can help and if you can volunteer. Our staff is working in shifts to maintain distancing, and with our volunteer services program on hold we are busier than ever! But that doesn’t mean we don’t need your help….
Our main needs right now are FOOD & FUNDS! You can help by donating both to ACO, and by sharing our needs with your social media contacts, your neighbors, coworkers, and friends.
Coming up on SATURDAY, MAY 2 from 9am-4pm, ACO will host a DRIVE-THRU FOOD DRIVE, this time with a focus on summer food for kids. PLEASE see list below, and pick up a few items when  you are buying for your own family. Then come see us at 201 Butler Drive on May 2. We will have staff taking your donations right out of your truck, wearing gloves and masks. What will take only a few minutes of your time will make a lasting impact on a hungry child this summer.
  1. Canned Soups- Chicken Noodle, Tomato, Alphabet
  2. Canned Pastas- Ravioli, Spaghettios, Lasagna
  3. Canned Meats- Chicken, Tuna
  4. Jellies- Grape, Strawberry (We have the peanut butter!)
  5. Fruit Cups/ Snack Packs
  6. Boxed Breakfast Cereal
  7. Granola/ Protein Bars
  8. Paper Towels/ Toilet Tissue
  9. Toothbrushes/ Toothpaste
  10. Kids Soaps and Shampoos
Of course, food donations are accepted every day at the ACO Food Pantry, 801 E. Main Street in Allen. There is a drop box for your safety and convenience!
ACO is committed to maintain a quality of service and meet the demands of ALL Collin County families affected. In the past some have criticized Collin County, saying there’s no need, no poverty here. We have known that is not true for years. But NOW, there is need everywhere, in every county! We are committed to “join hands” even at a distance and get through this TOGETHER!
ONE MORE THING…If you aren’t out shopping for your own essentials but would like to help us feed hungry kids this summer, please consider an online donation. 
$50 will help us feed a child for 2 weeks with easy to prepare, kid-friendly foods and basic necessities. $250 will prevent hunger all summer for a local child, ages 1-16. Donating is easy, by clicking the link below. AND- we’ve fixed our issues with our mobile donation app so you can give right from your phone!
Financial gifts may be made online at www.ACOCARES.ORG, or mailed to ACO, 801 E. Main Street, Allen TX 75002.
Remember that Allen Community Outreach supports families all across Collin County, not just Allen. We aren’t only Allen Community Outreach, we are ALL COMMUNITY OUTREACH!
Please stay safe, stay home, and stay kind!
Many, many thanks,
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