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Fire forces Fort Worth east side food pantry to close

Fire forces Fort Worth east side food pantry to close
Fire forces Fort Worth east side food pantry to close 02:18

FORT WORTH (CBS News Texas) – An East Fort Worth nonprofit is struggling this holiday season to help make sure families and the homeless have food.

Diane Moore, president of Eastside Ministries, can only look on with sadness and reflect on the first time she saw what was left of the food pantry.

"I didn't realize it was this bad. When I looked and saw what it was I immediately, I knew we were shut down. I broke down. I literally, literally, literally cried," explained Moore.

Sometime Monday night into Tuesday morning, a fire heavily damaged the pantry. All of the food that was meant to go to families and the homeless will have to be thrown out.

"It's just devastating. As hard as canned goods are good to come by, we had plenty, an abundance of canned goods. And now we have to trash them," Moore told us.

That includes sacks of groceries the East Fort Worth organization had started to gather. It was going to be part of a Christmas basket program to feed at least 100 families.

"In a season that everyone's supposed to be happy and jolly, it saddens me that we can't help the families in need," said Moore

It isn't the first reported fire at the building on East Lancaster this week. Eastside Ministries shared surveillance pictures with us of who they say tried to set a fire outside the pantry on Sunday. The Fort Worth Fire Department is investigating both fires.

Meanwhile, the community is doing what it can to rally support. And that's helping Moore look at the bigger picture.

Moore reflected, "Although it's tragic as it may be there's a blessing that's going to come out of this. Definitely a blessing."

She hopes churches and other groups will pick up the slack. Eastside Ministries can still hand out brown bag lunches even though the pantry is closed.  

The organization continues to take clothing donations and offer counseling. Eastside Ministries hopes to reopen the pantry sometime after the first of the year.

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