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South Texas Food Bank Serves Maverick County Needs advocates

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BY SALO OTERO, South Texas Food Bank marketing director

The South Texas  Food Bank,  serving  supplemental  food  to the unemployed, underemployed and  those living on fixed incomes,  will continue to  have a  significant  niche  in the lives  of   this area’s residents for years  to come. Celia Cole,  CEO of the  21-strong Texas Food Bank Network based in Austin and Fort Worth,   visited  the South Texas Food Bank  recently, attending the monthly board meeting  at  the Laredo Commerce Bank community suite. Cole,  native of New Haven, Connecticut,  graduate of Columbia University and in Texas for 20-plus years,  lauded  STFB board  president  Kevin Romo and members and executive director  Alfonso Casso  and staff “for  the work you  do in  the mission of feeding the hungry.” She  told the board, “Food banks have a lot of challenges ahead, facing cuts in  federal and  state budgets. But  we have a good reputation of meeting the needs of the poor.  The future of food banks?   There will be continued growth and demand until the economy gets better.” Cole noted  the national farm bill has yet  to pass in Washington, D.C. The current bill  will be extended through September, but  the threat of cuts looms to programs  that help the  poor like SNAP (formerly food stamps).   Cole urged advocacy  for the South Texas Food Bank.  “We must remain vigilant that the less fortunate will not be affected and continue to build relationships to get the word out on behalf   of  our clients to our representatives Henry Cuellar   and  Pete Gallego,”  Cole emphasized. Romelia Cardona is a member of  the STFB board.  Cuellar is from Laredo and Gallego from Alpine. Both serve the eight-county area from Rio Grande City to Del Rio  that includes the South Texas Food Bank. And  likewise  at the state level Cole added, “Keep talking to  our people in Austin.  The 83rd Legislature is in session and the primary goal is  to protect the funding we have, adding  more with outreach and partnerships.” The South  Texas Food Bank  ranks ninth among the TFBN’s  21 food bank. The STFB   distributed 726,687 pounds  of product  in December bringing the first three months of the 2013 fiscal year  total to 2,200,553 (2.2 million) pounds from October through December.   The food bank   served 50,012 families in October and November, including 38,196 children, 79,972 adults and 129,055 meals.  Program numbers for December  are 483 bags in adopt a family, 7,078 in Commodity Supplmental Food Program (CSFP), 210 applications for SNAP (formerly food stamps) representing 266 adults, 314 children,  775   children daily served  an after school meal  at  15 Kids Cafés  and 69 applicants for emergency bags representing 141 adults, 130 children. The South Texas Food Bank  distributed 54,393 pounds of product during December in  Maverick   County at seven sites, including four precincts under the direction of Becky  Baxter  Bellow,  who can be reached at (830) 757-6424 at the Maverick County Food Pantry and Family Services.

 

The other sites  in Eagle Pass  that distribute food to the needy of Maverick County  are:

• Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas, Reservation, Teresa  Garza, coordinator (830) 421-5359.

•San Lucas Lutheran Church 1725 Edison Road,  Paul Bailie coordinator (830)  773-9320.

• Primera Iglesia Bautista, 520 Colorado St., Pastor Felix Castillo (830) 968-3991.

 

Patrons must call  to get the hours of distribution. Also,  the STFB  can be reached  by calling (956) 726-3120 and information on the website  www.southtexasfoodbank org. Tax deductible donations can tbe mailed to 1907 Freight St., Laredo, Tex., 78041.

Last modified on Wednesday, 16 January 2013 21:33