One church in Tyler County is taking a stand to help the hungry by offering free fresh produce to the needy.
The program is called "The Produce Ministry" and operates strictly off of donations. Fruits, vegetables and other foods are given away to the needy every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 10:00am until 2:00pm.
This ministry has touched many people, and one local man says that the fresh produce helps feed his family when money gets tight.
"It's like a gift from God every time I pick up food from the Produce Ministry," says the man who asked to remain unnamed. "There are some days that I'm not sure where our next meal will come from, but the vegetables from the church have always helped us get by in tight situations and I will forever be grateful to everyone involved."
Other churches in Tyler County also have food pantries that give away canned goods, but Fellowship church is one of the only places needy people can get fresh produce. Availability of some vegetables change throughout the season, but there usually is something there for anyone who needs it.
Fellowship Church accepts everything from money to homegrown produce. You can reach them at (409) 283-2161.
Livestock escaping has always been a problem in Tyler County, but it's not every day that Longhorn Cattle can be seen walking through the streets in Colmesneil.
Officers responded to a call on January 30 around 11:00a.m from a resident that said she had spotted two Longhorns walking down County Road 2800 in town. When officers arrived, the cattle were roaming down the street where they could have easily been hit by a car driving through the area. An officer chased the cattle into a yard and away from traffic, but had trouble locating the owner of the huge Longhorns.
Cows, horses and other large animals escaping their fences and walking into busy roadways have caused many car accidents and even deaths. Thankfully, Tyler County Police responded quickly to the call and all accidents were prevented.
If no owner comes forward to claim the animals, they will be taken and contained by the County until a solution can be found.
South East Texas has been facing one of the toughest droughts it has ever experienced in history. Even older farmers and residents that have lived near Tyler County their entire lives say that this drought has been one of the worst.
But thankfully, the area has been seeing more and more rainfall in the past few months. The creeks, rivers, and ponds throughout the county are slowing filling up and aren't as dry as they have been in previous months.
Lake Tejas is looking better and holding more water, as well as Turkey, Wolfe and Theuvinius Creek.
Farmers are also breathing a little easier after the recent rains. Since quality hay to feed livestock has been hard to come by in a drought, many ranchers in Tyler County have been counting on some early rain to help the grass grow. If the winter showers continue, many people expect grass for cattle and horses to be plentiful this spring.
The fire danger has also been lowered to "moderate" for the first time in months. Firemen say that the damp conditions would make it hard for a forest fire to build up, and those fires would be much easier to put out.
Finally, it seems like Tyler County is getting a small break from the extreme drought conditions it has faced for many months.
Meteorologist report that more rain is possible for Woodville again on February 1st through 4th, as well as the 8th.
Many Tyler County residents love homemade jellies, honey, and homegrown produce, but often go to great lengths to get it. Sometimes it can be hard to find affordable fresh produce locally but this week it's a little easier. In the Woodville Nails Parking lot across from Community Bank, there is a produce stand with fresh local honey, homemade Mayhaw Jelly, syrup, sorghum and ribbon cane as well as fresh sweet potatoes.
The honey is all made locally and comes from beehives right across the Tyler County line. The Mayhaw jelly is also made right here in South East Texas and is sold especially to Woodville residents. The syrups are also made by local residents that have dedicated their whole lives to making great tasting food from resources in and around Tyler County.
The produce stand also has hundreds of home grown sweet potatoes from Louisiana and Texas, and rumor has it that they are some of the best tasting potatoes in the South.
The stand is located on South Magnolia Street, in the Woodville Nails parking lot across from Community Bank.