Article Originally Published by Dawson Turner on North Texas Daily
In the last few months, leaders in the Denton community have joined forces to put an end to food insecurity. Feeding5000 is a Denton-based charity group that focuses on feeding community members fresh sandwiches every week, and won’t let up until they reach their goal of 5,000 sandwiches donated.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, teacher and Feeding5000 founder Kurtis Kloiber and New York Sub Hub Owner Hunter Christiansen have banded together with the goal of making a positive impact on the community.
“We just started making sandwiches and going out and handing them out to people who needed it in the community, and then came up with the name Feeding5000,” Kloiber said. “I got in touch with Hunter, who’s one of my ex-students, and then we went into a partnership. I started financing it and he started making the sandwiches.”
Christiansen said he saw his former teacher’s outreach through social media and felt compelled to message him about it.
“I saw him on Facebook doing his own thing with Feeding5000,” Christiansen said. “We reached out to each other and kind of just started talking and joined forces.”
Prior to partnering with Feeding5000, Christiansen was already making an effort to utilize New York Sub Hub as a place for accessible and affordable meals in the Denton area.
“I know there’s a lot of people out there that aren’t as fortunate to either work or keep their doors open,” Christiansen said. “That was my main target, to try and help these people by giving them a [meal] option with a cheaper alternative. It gets expensive. I tried to offer that for people to have to make sure we all get through this. … we just started focusing on Feeding5000.”
Since their partnership began in March, New York Sub Hub has been preparing and donating hundreds of sandwiches on a weekly basis for the Feeding5000 team to distribute.
“Every Wednesday, we’ve been donating 225 meals to various groups here around Denton,” Christiansen said. “We make it and have it all prepped, then Kloiber and his group will go around and hand them out.”
After New York Sub Hub prepares sandwiches for the week, the charity swings by to pick them up for delivery. Feeding5000 volunteers make it their mission to drive around Denton every Wednesday and hand out free sandwich meals to those in need around the community.
“It was the protesters one week, the police department every week, the homeless, people in the service industry, some apartment complexes and mobile homes, kind of all over really,” Kloiber said. “I knew there were people that just needed those meals. Now on Wednesdays, they’re there ready to get their sandwiches every week.”
Feeding5000 has currently donated around 3,800 sandwiches. Kloiber is confident the team will be able to hit their 5,000 goal before public schools open back up for the fall semester.
“To get to 5,000 we probably [have] about one more month,” Kloiber said. “With school being pushed back to the beginning of September now, that’s probably going to give us the right amount of time to finish it and get to our goal. At the same time, there is definitely still a need because the school’s providing lunches and breakfast for the students, but they might not have an evening meal.”
After Kloiber recently accepted a teaching position outside of Denton, the leadership of the organization was passed on to a volunteer who’s been with them since the start.
“There’s no way I could’ve done this all by myself,” said Kloiber. “Without the help of my teammates, there’s no possible way we could’ve continued, especially when I moved for my new job. I told them if they wanted to keep doing it, I would keep funding it.”
Madelyn Thomas, a Feeding5000 volunteer and Denton resident, has recently taken the lead in distributing sandwiches across Denton County. Thomas said it’s important to try and make a positive impact in the community, even if it doesn’t always feel like it.
“With this pandemic going on, there’s been people that fall through the cracks more than normal,” Thomas said. “The homeless, the disadvantaged, people who rely on the school system, people who rely on soup kitchens. When they were closed there was nowhere to go. It did help a little bit when things opened up, but people are still in need. Even I feel like we don’t do enough. It’s just one day a week. There’s not enough that we could ever do, but I know making a small dent can help.”
Courtesy New York Sub Hub
Source: North Texas Daily