Brenda Bell receives award for 1-1/2 decades of service to the Food Pantry of Jeff Davis County.
The Food Pantry of Jeff Davis County honored Brenda Bell at the Pilot Club’s annual volunteer luncheon in honor of her fifteen years of dedication to starting, growing and tending this crucial service for our poorest county residents. The luncheon was held in Alpine on Monday, April 29, just one day after Brenda and her husband, John, moved from Fort Davis to their new home in Portland, Oregon.
When Brenda and John arrived in Fort Davis in 1998, Brenda wondered where to bring food for those who were hungry – and was told no one was hungry in Jeff Davis County. Fortunately, with the help a few dedicated volunteers, Brenda established the Food Pantry as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in 2000, championed the cause, raised funds, and oversaw the construction of the impressive building that currently houses the Pantry’s offices and food storage and is the location for semi-monthly food distributions.
In 2012, the Pantry served a monthly average of 605 individuals from an average 228 households, more than 25% of the county’s residents. These households typically have fewer than three people and earn an average of $13,866, about $5,000 less than the Federal poverty threshold. The Pantry is the only source of supplemental food in JDC, and provides luncheon foods for about 60 school-age children who have no other free/low-cost lunch available. The Pantry purchases food with community-donated funds from the West Texas Food Bank and local grocers.
Brenda may have moved away from the Big Bend, but she has left a very large footprint in the area.