Federal cuts to food stamps and upcoming holidays put more pressure on food pantry

Fedex

FedEx delivered 65 bags of groceries to the Resource Center

FedEx came to the aid of the Resource Center Food Pantry this week with 65 bags of groceries collected at a company food drive.

Resource Center spokesman Rafael McDonnell said more canned goods are coming from the North Texas Food Bank now that the government is reopened.

But despite continued support from the community, Resource Center is bracing for upcoming cuts in food stamp programs while preparing for the holidays.

Thanksgiving is approaching and with it come holiday comes special needs.

Daniel Sanchez, who runs the hot meals program and the food pantry, said he needs 14 turkeys for holiday meals. He wants to make sure clients can take food home for the long weekend. He said there’s plenty of room in the freezers to store the turkeys. He said he hoped a few groups, companies or individuals would each buy a couple of birds for the holiday meal.

In addition, he needs extra volunteers to prepare, set up, cook and serve on Nov. 25–27. anyone interested should call him at 972-786-5685.

McDonnell suggested another way to support the pantry was for a group, company or individual to sponsor a shelf. They’d make sure the pantry was constantly stocked with a particular item by either purchasing it themselves or with a steady cash donation.

Sanchez suggested groups could sponsor a lunch for the meals program anytime. He said a chicken fried steak lunch for about 50 people would cost $200, a taco bar for $150 or a ham casserole for $50. He also suggested sponsoring an ice cream bar for dessert, which he said he can do for $30.

McDonnell said he’s bracing for two upcoming cuts to food funding from the federal government. The 2009 Recovery Act ends Friday, meaning cuts to the Food Stamp program. The average decrease in benefits is $11 per person. The proposed farm bill that’s been stalled in Congress will also cut money for food stamps farther.

He pointed out that each cut puts further pressure on the food pantry. Most food pantry clients receive food stamps.

—  David Taffet

Something to be thankful for

Now that we’ve all gorged ourselves on turkey and shopping, I think we can all agree: This is what Thanksgiving should be all about.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Youth First Texas’ most popular event of the year, Thanksgiving dinner, is tonight

Thanksgiving dinner at Youth First Texas is usually the busiest day of the year at the agency serving LGBT youth.

The 13-year tradition takes place this year on Thursday, Nov. 15 — which is this evening — at the YFT center at 3918 Harry Hines Boulevard.

“Alumni, youth and volunteers come out the of the woodwork for it,” said YFT board President Chris-James Cognetta.

Doors open at 4 p.m. for food preparation. Dinner begins at about 6:30 p.m. and runs until close at 9:30 p.m. The dinner is free and is donated and cooked by volunteers.

“This may be the only Thanksgiving they have,” Cognetta said of the youth who attend.

He said a number of youth have aged out of the foster system and have no other family.

YFT is also looking for a volunteer to open the center on Thanksgiving night — Thursday, Nov. 22. (If you’re at least 25 and interested in volunteering call 214-879-0400 ext. 203.)

Cognetta said he also plans to have the center open at least part of the day on Christmas.

“Some of our youth get very depressed that day,” he said.

—  David Taffet

Spend Thanksgiving with Lady Gaga

Ga ga gobble gobble

After the traditional turkey and pumpkin pie have been gobbled up, the next tradition is to plop in front of the TV for the rest of the day. For music fans and little monsters, ABC will air A Very Gaga Thanksgiving which the network describes as “an intimate look inside the life of Lady Gaga as she performs, in front of a small audience, eight songs including a duet with guest Tony Bennett.” As seen in the clip, she performs “Bad Romance” with what looks like a mutant sweet potato microphone.

DEETS: WFAA-TV Channel 8. 8:30 p.m. ABC.com.

—  Rich Lopez

Thanksgiving weekend at Cedar Creek Lake

I know there are a lot of LGBT folks in the Metroplex who have weekend/vacation homes down south on Cedar Creek Lake, and I am sure there are others who plan on spending their long holiday weekend in that area with friends and family. And that’s not even counting all the LGBTs who live on the lake full time.

So if you will be spending Thanksgiving and the weekend on the lake and are looking for something fun to do once all the turkey is gone, checkout Friends, one of two LGBT bars in Gun Barrel City.

Friends, 410 S. Gun Barrel Lane, opens early on Thanksgiving Day, with football playing on the big screens and a big Thanksgiving Dinner served at 6 p.m. Leo and the gang will supply the turkey and all the trimmings, but those coming to share the meal are welcome to bring their own side dishes, too.

Friends also continues its food drive through the holiday weekend, in support the American Legion Post 310′s annual Christmas basket program for families in need. So if you have some extra canned goods or dry goods in your pantry, or if you want to pick up some extra when you go shopping, be sure to take them over and drop them off at the bar.

Then you can wind up the weekend Saturday night with Friends’ annual Mr./Ms./Miss Cedar Creek Lake Pageant starting at 9 p.m.

The other LGBT club in town is called Garlow’s, so you might want to check them out, too, while you’re in town. Garlow’s is located at 309 E. Main St. in Gun Barrel City.

—  admin

LISTEN: Soundclips from Lady Gaga’s holiday EP

If you haven’t decided yet on purchasing Lady Gaga’s A Very Gaga Holiday EP, why not take a quick preview here. She released four tracks yesterday which perfectly coincides with Thursday’s airing of A Very Gaga Thanksgiving on ABC. For Gaga, it was a rather quiet release.

These here are just snippets of the tracks but she’s sounding pretty good on the Christmas tunes “White Christmas” and “Orange Colored Sky.” The release also includes live versions of “You and I” and “The Edge of Glory.”

Lady Gaga – A Very Gaga Holiday by Interscope Records

—  Rich Lopez

Thanksgiving Dinner at JR’s Bar and Grill

JR's Bar and GrillThanksgiving can be a rough time for a lot of people. So many of us in the LGBT community have a less than stellar relationship with our families and for many people it’s just not economically feasible to travel for the holidays this year. (Or maybe you’re like me and the friend who invited you to Thanksgiving Dinner at his place canceled at the last minute.)

For all those without plans, or for those who need to escape their plans, there is the annual holiday meal at JR’s Bar and Grill. From 1:30 – 4:40 pm a full Thanksgiving feast with all the trimmings will be served by the fine people at Caven Enterprises. After 4:30 guests are still encouraged to stop by for complimentary coffee and desert.

JR’s Bar and Grill is located at 804 & 808 Pacific.

—  admin

Thanksgiving Eve Dance with DJ Tristan Jaxx

Pre-dinner workout

DJ Tristan Jaxx will dole out the tunes for tonight’s Thanksgiving Eve Party. This is the perfect way to burn off some calories to make room for tomorrow’s big meal. That’ll be something to be thankful for in hindsight.

DEETS: The Brick, 2525 Wycliff Ave. Doors at 9 p.m. BrickDallas.com.

—  Rich Lopez

DFW Sisters stuffing the turkeys for charity

Members of the DFW Sisters will be out in force on Cedar Springs Wednesday night, Nov. 23, making their rounds with their turkey banks to raise funds to benefit “DFW Sisters’ mission towards safe sex education, community fundraising and sharing some LOVE!”

They will be out between 6 p.m. and 2 a.m., hitting all the bars along the Cedar Springs Strip before heading over to The Brick/Joe’s and Dallas Eagle. Then, if time permits, they’ll head back to the Strip.

So when keep your change handy and when you see a Sister on Wednesday night, stuff that turkey!

—  admin

Don’t miss our 2011 Holiday Gift Guide and the online exclusives

We are officially in the midst of the holiday season. I mean seriously, where did Thanksgiving come from? That’s next week already. Of course, Thanksgiving means one thing — Black Friday. Before you head out to retailers at midnight, check out our 2011 Holiday Gift Guide for your shopping ideas. With items for the home, that special person and even for man’s best friend, we cover a wide array of gift giving ideas that run from stocking stuffers to helicopter rides.

But don’t stop there, we also have our 2011 HGG online exclusives posted here. Just some additional gifts to add to the mix. We’ll add to those with our Gift-a-Day posts that you’ll read about in the online exclusive list.

By the end of it all, we hope we’ve helped you out with your shopping list. And don’t forget to get you a little something for yourself.

—  Rich Lopez