Tarrant County, TX – RED Bus Program pulled into a lot in Fort Worth’s Wesley community Wednesday morning and aim to help those in need of food and social services applications.
Although the bus is bright red, the RED stands for ‘Resources and Education Delivered’.
“These people are really, really in need,” TAFB Community Resource Specialist Roy Rodriguez explained. “They don’t have much, and they don’t trust a lot of people.
The RED Bus is a one-stop shop to help people who live in food desert zip codes sign up for social services like SNAP and Medicaid, while also providing a small food pantry.
“Less than half the people who are eligible for these programs actually sign up,” TAFB President and CEO Julie Butner said. “They don’t have a means to get to the location, or they don’t have someone who can kind of walk them through what’s required in terms of paperwork.”
“It’s a nightmare, and it’s very frustrating,” Sheila Strayhorn said about trying to file for assistance on her own. “Lots of anxiety. Lots of nights are very rough.”
Strayhorn was referred to the RED Bus for help. Rodriguez spent about half an hour with each person who sat across from him looking to get help.
“They feel special. They feel like they’re loved. They feel like somebody cares for them,” Rodriguez said. “So we’re trying to care for them, and in the process, try to make them feel human.”
The areas targeted by the RED Bus have lower life expectancies, due in part, to a lack of fresh, healthy food. The RED Bus will travel to those areas to make food and services accessible to those who need it.
“So help is on the way,” Rodriguez said.
The RED Bus is funded by the City of Fort Worth and the Kroger Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation.