The Food Pantry of Jeff Davis County Valentine Location ribbon cutting was a great success. Mayor Chuy Calderon, Board President, Karen Shew, and Distribution Coordinator, Maria Grub, all helped cut the ribbon – twice. There was a second cutting when Channel 9 News showed up for the event! Afterwards guests gathered in the new facility to enjoy Valentine cookie treats and coffee. The West Texas Food Bank in Odessa sent roses for the special occasion. The Beef Love 5K Run on Valentine’s Day in Valentine also donated over 40 packages of beef to the Valentine location.
Food Pantry of Jeff Davis County received a generous grant from the Permian Basin Area Foundation (PBAF) to install a “choice” pantry site in Valentine, Texas, one of only two towns the Pantry serves in the county.
Currently, the Pantry pre-bags foods at its building in Fort Davis, and volunteers load up the bagged food and take it to Valentine over 40 miles away. Clients there receive the bagged food without any ability to choose items that they know their children will eat and are appropriate for their health needs. In Fort Davis clients come to the Brenda and John Bell Distribution Center at 609 Compromise Street and choose up to 18 items of their choice from shelves stocked with a variety of canned goods and other packaged foods. In addition, families with school age children choose from a variety of groceries appropriate for a child to pack for lunch at school or have for lunch on any non-school days.
This grant allows the Pantry to purchase and install shelves, refrigerators and freezers to stock and store foods for clients in Valentine to choose from as clients in Fort Davis do. With the assistance of Mayor Jesus “Chuy” Calderon, the City of Valentine has made available two large rooms in the small City Hall building adjacent to the Community Complex without any rent charged. “This is a very good thing for our community. The City is glad to be able to do this,” said Mayor Calderon. In return, the Pantry will thoroughly clean the two rooms, make simple needed repairs, and paint the interior to ready the space for sanitary food storage. Tex Harrison, Executive Director of the Food Pantry, predicts an early December opening of the space. “We’d sure like to have this ready before the holidays. If you’d like to volunteer to clean floors, repair doors or paint walls please give us a call!”
Permian Basin Area Foundation, located in Midland, Texas, was founded “to partner with donors in creating permanent charitable funds to enrich the quality of life in West Texas communities”. The Foundation looks for organizations that, in part, are able to “identify the significant and long-term potential impact achieved by [receiving] funding [for] the project. The “choice” pantry in Valentine has the potential to make a long term impact on the lives, well- being and dignity of low-income residents there. The Board of Directors of the Food Pantry believes in the right for all individuals to be able to choose foods for themselves from a variety of healthy choices.
Food Pantry of Jeff Davis County alleviates hunger and promotes healthy eating for residents in need. We do this by providing nutritious supplemental food, school lunch foods to families with school age children, and nutrition information. For more information about the Food Pantry, eligibility for services, the “Healthy Food, Healthy Lives” program, or to volunteer, call 432-426-3886 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.