FIGHT HUNGER. SPARK CHANGE.

The COVID-19 pandemic affected the South Texas Food Bank and its network of hard-working agencies greatly. According to the Texas Comptroller, the median income of the South Texas region is "significantly lower" the rest of Texas. The effects of the pandemic were amplified due to these levels of poverty.

When the country shut down, the first jobs to go were the lower income jobs. When the schools shut down, the children had to stay home and eat. The shut down of the economy along with the need to now feed your children at home created a

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significant problem for a lot of South Texan families who

were already just getting by.

South Texas Food Bank Service Area: Webb, Zapata, Jim Hogg, Val Verde, Maverick, Kinney, Dimmit, & Starr Counties

Support From Businesses

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During these trying times, support from our corporate partners became even more important. Food insecurity was an all time high, and our resources were being stretched thin. Nearly all of our counties were receiving the most resources they had ever received, and the support from stores like Wal-Mart really were paramount to getting people the help they needed. 

During these trying times, support from our corporate partners became even more important. Food insecurity was an all time high, and our resources were being stretched thin. Nearly all of our counties were receiving the most resources they had ever received, and the support from stores like Wal-Mart really were paramount to getting people the help they needed. 

Wal-Mart & Sam's Club's Fight Hunger Spark Change is a great example of the type of the support that was vital to help us continue our mission. Through this campaign, they have supported food banks and pantries all over the United States. They have donated over 1.5 billion pounds of food along with countless hours of volunteerism. 

Christ Church Episcopal
Laredo, Texas

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Pastor Paul Frey with recently retired Volunteer Coordinator, Myrna Innis, stand at the door of the Christ Church Episcopal pantry - a door that was kept “open” during the Covid-19 pandemic..

Top: Christ Church Episcopal 
Bottom: Pastor Paul Frey with Myrna Innis

The last two years have been a trying time for the world. It has also been a time of change. Life as we knew it was altered overnight. While the reality around us was changing from day to day, for many non-profits it was business as usual, other than the forced challenges posed by the COVID-safety protocols.

 

In spite of these challenges, many non-profits agencies could not just cease operations due to the dramatic increase for food during the pandemic. Christ Church Episcopal in Laredo, Texas was such an agency - they were unable to pause their operations.

 

Christ Church Episcopal has been a longstanding member agency of the South Texas Food Bank. 

 

Pastor Paul Frey has been the Rector of Christ Church Episcopal since 2004. Soon after, the church started a food ministry - “New Leaven” , through which they distribute an average of 100 families per week (400 families per month). Frey pinpoints that the pantry’s main and only goal is just to “feed people”

 

He is very proud of the work that he, along with his congregation and volunteers, have been able to accomplish, especially during the global crisis.

 

The greatest challenge during this time was the lack of help. Due to the severe safety protocols, the number of volunteers at the pantry was cut in half.

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This did not stop them. Even with the little manpower, they were able to assist the families that came to the church in search of food. “We would be able to feed 30 families, if that, max,” said  Frey.

 

Frey noted that thanks to organizations like The South Texas Food Bank, they were able to keep a steady stream of food coming into the pantry, and this is why he is so grateful to all those that support it.

 

“Without the [South Texas] food bank,

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we couldn’t do what we do,” Frey pointed out.

 

Pastor Frey lauded the support from Wal-Mart and other grocery stores as “crucial”  because otherwise a lot of food would just “go to waste”.
 

As Frey noted, The South Texas Food Bank has been able to continue to assist its member agencies through  partnerships with major grocery chains such as Wal-Mart. 

 

Wal-Mart stores located in the food bank’s service area have donated thousands of pounds of food to the food bank and its partner agencies every year.

 

Walmart’s Chief Sustainability Officer, Kathlee McLaughin, says “Food insecurity continues to affect communities across the United States. Working with Feeding America, our customers, members, associates and suppliers, Walmart and Sam’s Club aim to be part of the solution.”. 

 

In particular, Walmart’s Fight Hunger. Spark Change campaign has contributed1.5 billion meals to food banks and pantries all over the United States, and that number just seems to be growing exponentially.

 

We thank both Wal-Mart and Christ Church Epispocal for their effort in helping us fight hunger. The solution is not a simple one, and it is not something that can be done overnight, but the effort of companies like Wal-Mart and agencies like Christ Church Episcopal help us get one step closer. 

Thank you

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For more information:

Angie Osterman,  Sr, Marketing Coordinator/Regional Marketing Liaison

aosterman@southtexasfoodbank.org

Alex Carraman, Marketing Coordinator

marketing@southtexasfoodbank.org

Phone: (956) 726-3120 Ext. 117