Our program originated with a poverty cohort study offered by the Episcopal Health Foundation. After an anti-racism study, including Sacred Ground from the National Episcopal Church, our hearts were ready to work on repairing the breach of mistreatment other ethnicities had received from our country. We participated in a Poverty Cohort Study led by the Episcopal Health Foundation. We listened to experts from Baylor Collaborative, East Texas Human Needs Network, the Kaleidoscope Project, and East Texas Rural Leadership.
We were asked if we were involved in transactional ministries or if we were standing beside the poor. We joined with Santa Teresa Catholic Church, The REACH Project, and area Episcopal Churches to operate a Mobil Food Pantry. This is usually reserved for food deserts. Brazos Valley Food Bank gave us this opportunity because they recognized an underserved Spanish-speaking immigrant community was under-served. The area around the Boys and Girls Club was recognized as the barrio. Our volunteers distribute food to 400 cars in line. We have over 2,000 families on our roster. 94% of the families we serve are Latino. Our local food bank gave us $35,000.00 per year. Our Pantry ends in June of 2024. Brick-and-mortar pantries will follow.
The fourth Saturday of the month, is January 27th, February 24th, March 23rd, April 27th, and May 25th, and our final distribution, is June 22nd. We've established a board of directors and will soon name our brick-and-mortar Pantry. We plan to operate on Saturdays or at a time convenient for working families.
Our next distribution is on Saturday, January 27th from 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon.
ProducePedia is a free resource that covers the types of fresh produce that can be delivered to food pantries. Each entry includes information on color, taste, and possible uses. People unfamiliar with the vegetable or fruit will learn how to use it, and those who are familiar with it still might learn a fun fact or two!
The Cooperative Extension sites have a wealth of information for any backyard gardener. Once you go to the site (each one if very different from the others) look for a link for “homes and gardens”, “landscape”, “consumer horticulture”, etc. to find information on improving your backyard garden. Neighboring state sites may offer information your own state’s site lacks.