On November 18 2020, the Gravel Institute (@GravelInstitute) tweeted a photograph purportedly showing cars waiting to get to a food bank in Dallas, Texas:
This is a line for a food bank in Dallas. Congress has decided to leave millions of Americans to suffer and die. pic.twitter.com/4uH7k0yW7v
— Gravel Institute (@GravelInstitute) November 18, 2020
The @GravelInstitute tweet, which added that Congress “decided to leave millions of Americans to suffer and die,” did not include a citation; however, commenters on the post shared anecdotes about food insecurity in Dallas and other cities:
“Here’s some more ammo for you comrade, I live here in Dallas and let me tell you it’s so much worse than just that. My sister just got laid off for the SECOND time because of a covid outbreak at the bar she works at. Im the only one in my immediate family with a job”
It didn’t take long to trace the image to a source, which was a November 14 2020 Dallas News article headlined, “Thousands pour into Fair Park for North Texas Food Bank’s largest distribution yet during pandemic.” A caption under that image, which was featured in the story, read:
Vehicles surrounded Fair Park as they awaited entry to the North Texas Food Bank’s mega-distribution on Saturday [November 14 2020].
(Tom Fox / Staff Photographer)
Dallas News reported waits as long as twelve hours at the food bank on November 14 2020:
Thousands of families — including some who waited nearly 12 hours — turned out Saturday [November 14 2020] at the usually empty grounds of Fair Park for the North Texas Food Bank’s fifth and largest mega-distribution of food during the coronavirus pandemic.
Since the pandemic’s start in March, the NTFB has held several such events at Fair Park and helped put on many smaller events to alleviate the hunger and financial stress many families have faced.
During [the depicted] Thanksgiving-themed distribution, organized with help from such food bank partners as Fair Park First, Spectra and other groups, the agency handed out food to some 8,500 families. Before the pandemic, holiday giveaways would typically serve about 500 families.
A November 18 2020 Gravel Institute tweet described the photograph as a line for a food bank in Dallas, Texas, and said that the large crowd size was because of federal inaction during the ongoing pandemic. The article from which the image originated reported that 8,500 families waited as long as twelve hours to receive food — from a food bank which typically provides 500 such distributions for holidays.