LINDEN, Tenn. (WKRN) — A food drive provided free meals to hundreds of families in Linden who are dealing with water issues.

Many said it’s a lifeline for the community, and while they’ve had several of these food trucks come to Linden Middle School before, this time was different for so many.

“It’s just really been tough,” said Evon Winters, a Linden resident.

Tough times with high prices, rent, and utilities, on top of trouble accessing water, are hitting residents in Linden extra hard.

“I figure people are needing the food pretty bad, since the way the economy is, it’s been bad. We’re usually the lowest that’s on the unemployment list in the state,” Dorleen Hobbs, another resident of Linden, said.

“Our county needs all the help that it can get, not only with water and fuel but with food, too. We are a poor county and there are several people that are struggling at this time,” said Tena Shawl of Linden.

Over 100 cars lined up in the school parking lot, and volunteers loaded their vehicles with boxes of free meals and enough food to feed their families.

“People are struggling right now to feed their families, and this really helps a lot,” Shawl said.

One resident in line, Evon Winters, who’s a cancer patient herself, was getting food for several other cancer patients, and she said this is the only way they can make ends meet.

“That there tells me there are people in the community that really care. If it weren’t for them, a lot of us wouldn’t even have meals,” Winters said.

⏩ Read today’s top stories on

Many in line said they still don’t have access to water, which is why this food drive couldn’t have come at a more needed time.

“This is a God sent to have the food trucks to help us here,” Winters said.

“We’re just very grateful to have it and we hope that it will continue to meet the needs of our county,” Shawl said.