Local woman obsessed with food --- but in a good way
By Patty Hullett
For the Daily Light
Waxahachie resident Debbie Quick has a kind heart – so much so that she somewhat serves as a part-time “food helper” for her fellow citizens who are in need of food.
Quick, 70, loves to help others as best she can, and in particularly, the elderly. Her generosity roots came from her mother who adopted her and her sister, Kim, as babies. This caring matriarch was extremely poor as a child, yet in her adult years, she provided her girls with adequate food, shelter, and with an abundance of much-needed love. And more importantly, she taught them about the “gift of giving.”
“I have always been able to make something out of nothing,” says Quick, “and that’s because of my mother’s teachings and wonderful lessons in life. When I was a single mom living in California with my 8-year-old son, I taught classes on ‘Smart Shopping’ and coached women on how to feed a family of four on $30 a week. I probably trained at least 2,000 young women on how to effectively shop back in those days via a humongous database of clients. I enjoyed helping these ladies with their everyday problems, and one of their biggest issues involved food-related things like food budgeting and preparation.”
Quick continues, “Some people would say that I’m ‘obsessed’ with food, but it’s not in the way you may think.”
On the contrary, she offers a personal challenge to others about food. She admits that she is on a low fixed-income, too, but she watches her finances closely and stays on her budget like a hawk. That means that she periodically visits local food charities. She is able to assist others because she has built-up a large network of friends in the area, which connect her and her extra blessings of food to people in dire need.
These days, a vast number of people - both middle and lower working class - in the Ellis County area need a helping hand with putting food on their tables. This situation stems from changes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic: the loss of jobs and the changes to the United States economic system. But many in the senior citizen population are also searching for ways to navigate their way through these difficult times.
Quick appreciates the “pantry donations” that she receives from time-to-time, and she is very aware of how to best use the staples that are time-sensitive because of their freshness and/or expiration dates marked on grocery items. She is very mindful of foods that have a very short shelf-life, and that is paramount when planning daily meals. She also suggests that her senior friends buy food containers in various sizes, cook BIG some days, and then take a break on other days. By putting meals into individual containers and freezing them for later use, there is no waste of the food. That stretches the food out, and also it saves time in preparing and cooking meals every day.
One of Quick’s local friends, Marglen Kinikin, says, “Debbie Quick is so sweet to eagerly shares her knowledge with those that could use some instructions about how to connect with many of the nonprofit organizations, local church pantries, and other branches of the North Texas Bank Food.”
Quick is very grateful to the Waxahachie CARE program, a local nonprofit food pantry that provides food and utility assistance to local residents in need throughout Ellis County. According to its website, its 2020 campaign is: “Waxahachie CARE's – neighbors helping NEIGHBORS. Our goal is to partner up with our local churches, businesses and individuals to make sure Ellis County citizens are fed and well-cared for.”
Quick said she also loves volunteering at the Waxahachie Senior Activity Center, an affiliate of United Way.
Through her network of friends, the word gets out that Quick can show and teach about how free food is readily available, but you just need to know where and when to find it. To help out, Quick gives them her websites, food pick-up locations, recipes, etc. She urges those in need to peruse the local newspapers, check the county websites for free food offers, and finally, encourages folks to call local churches that may offer assistance.
Quick has been a Waxahachie resident since 2013, after she relocated from Santa Clarita, California. She has two grown children, and raised her kids as a single mom.
This fascinating lady has worked several jobs over the years: One of her favorite vocations was when she was a men’s barber at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, in the early '80s. From there, she became an aesthetician -- a specialist in skin beautification. These days, she dapples in costume jewelry sales.
She has always had a heart for single mothers, children, and helping others in need. She enjoys the theater, art, and “especially loves $5 BLING,” according to her Facebook page.
“I am proud that I have led a successful life as a single lady, and I have been doubly blessed with a lot a free food that has helped me make it through the good times as well as the bad,” Quick says. “I just want to make sure that no person in Waxahachie goes hungry. We, as a caring community, need to be about helping out our neighbors all over the city.”
For more information on how to get "free food" assistance, contact Patty Hullett at (469) 383-1098.