SOS for food pantry

“It’s just the middle of August and we’ve already given out all the meat in our food pantry,” said Laura White, assistant director of Bandera’s Helping Hand. “We are in dire need of meat for our clients.”
Although supplies from the San Antonio Food Bank are delivered the first Thursday of each month, both White and executive director Jesse Parks noted that the food bank was also extremely low on meat this month.
“So, we have literally no meat left in our food pantry,” Parks said.
In response, the Helping Hand staff is putting out a clarion call for fresh or frozen meat, including hamburger, chicken, pork, sausage and ham. “Whatever’s on sale at the grocery store,” White said.
“We’ll even accept fresh-processed wild game,” Parks added. “Any donated meat products help us.”
Each month, the Helping Hand Food Pantry assists 200 low income families each month with boxes of food. “We want to let everyone know the families we help out all live in Bandera County,” Parks said. “We recently turned away someone who lived hours from here and wanted a food box. He was not a county resident so we couldn’t help him.”
Eligible families receive one box of food per month per household. “To qualify, they must present a proof of income and proof of Bandera County residency, in the form of a rental receipt, utility bill or driver’s license,” Parks explained.
To receive a food box from Helping Hand, applicants must come to the nonprofit organization, located at 1116 12th St., from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday. However, food boxes are not available the first Thursday of each month when supplies from San Antonio are delivered.
Additionally, Parks reiterated the need for volunteers to assist during the monthly food bank deliveries. Volunteer duties include helping unload the truck and stocking the Helping Hand Food Pantry.
“The work is easy when everyone helps,” Parks said, adding, “And, we can use all the help we can get.”
To volunteer with Helping Hand, contact Parks at 830-796-8300.
She continued, “When we’ve needed food before, the response from the community was wonderful. We’re hoping they can assist us though this shortage by making donations of fresh or frozen meat,” Parks said. “We’re always grateful to our generous community and our clients are, too.”
Food donations can be dropped off at 1116 12th St., from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.