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Home | Tag Archives: el pasoans fighting hunger

Tag Archives: el pasoans fighting hunger

El Pasoans Fighting Hunger implements new hours, distribution process at HQ location

On Sunday, officials with the El Pasoans Fighting Hunger (EPFH) Food Bank announced a change to their food distribution process and their Headquarters location.

“EPFH is implementing a new distribution model at the 9541 Plaza Circle location,” officials shared via a news release. “This new model allows individuals to go through intake and get a ticket to receive food.”

Cars enter the distribution area and park, then clients stand in a short line to turn in their ticket and receive a shopping cart filled with food.

“The process will ensure safety of volunteers/staff due to harsh heat conditions and can facilitate more traffic with less wait time,” officials shared.

Summer hours at the food bank location have also changed and will be from 6am to 3pm, Monday through Saturday.

“We are confident this distribution model will help alleviate long wait times while protecting workers,” EPFH officials added.

To get more information on the distribution, visit the EPFH Facebook page or website.

To donate to the cause, click here.

Superior HealthPlan providing $16K to El Paso groups to cover food, essential supplies during COVID-19 Pandemic

As Texas residents continue to face challenges stemming from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, including a lack of access to basic daily needs such as food and essential supplies, Superior HealthPlan is partnering with 3 community-based organizations in El Paso to support efforts that address these social determinants of health, contributing funding as well as hundreds of gift cards that can be used by community members to purchase items they need.

“Our commitment to staying active in communities across Texas is as strong as ever, even if we cannot partner with organizations to host in-person events like we normally do,” said Mark Sanders, President and CEO of Superior HealthPlan.

“By providing resources to these organizations, we’re able to continue to make a positive impact in people’s lives as they face challenges due to COVID-19.”

In addition to several monetary donations, Superior has distributed nearly 3,800 gift cards statewide for a total of $130,000 to be used to purchase essential healthcare and educational items, including diapers, over-the-counter medicines, cleaning supplies and books.

Locally, this includes contributions to El Pasoans Fighting Hunger and the You Eat I Eat Community Food Pantry, as well as 50 gift cards, each valued at $35, to Child Crisis Center of El Paso.

“We believe that anyone may need a helping hand in their lives and that no one should go hungry,” said Dorene Corothers, Founder of You Eat I Eat Community Food Pantry. “The current health emergency has been difficult for many people in El Paso, but thanks to the generosity of Superior HealthPlan, we were able to reopen our doors and provide hundreds of bags of food and other items during this time of need.”

Superior has provided additional support in El Paso, including a contribution of $65,000 as well as 400 disaster kits to YWCA El Paso del Norte Region (YWCA). The donations are supporting the organization’s efforts to provide quality childcare services to essential workers, including first responders, doctors, nurses and others who must continue to work during this time.

As part of Centene Corporation, Superior’s contributions support a larger effort to address additional needs related to COVID-19, including a partnership with the national hunger relief non-profit Feeding America and its network of food banks.

Officials say that through the partnership, Superior is supporting Centene to donate 1 million meals a month for the next 12 months to feed our neighbors in Texas and beyond.

“There are so many organizations in communities all over the state that work each day to meet the needs of low-income families and neighborhoods,” said Sanders. “We’re proud to be able to partner with many of them so we can work together to support those most impacted by this health emergency.”

Superior is also donating funds and thousands more gift cards to organizations in Austin, Dallas, Lubbock, McAllen, San Antonio and several communities in the Rio Grande Valley.

El Pasoans Fighting Hunger reaches $1M goal; Officials announce new $600K Challenge

Tuesday afternoon, the El Pasoans Fighting Hunger (EPFH) Food Bank, in partnership with the Paul L. Foster Family FoundationWoody and Gayle Hunt Family Foundation, and MountainStar Sports Group Foundation, announced they had reached their matching grant goal of raising $1 million to support families grappling with food insecurity and the economic impacts of COVID-19.

“The Food Bank is grateful to everyone in El Paso who has given to support their friends, neighbors, and family members during this crisis, and especially to the community leaders that have spearheaded our fundraising efforts,” said Stuart Schwartz, EPFH Food Bank Board Chair.

“The incredibly generous $1 million matching grant from the Paul L. Foster Family Foundation, the Woody and Gayle Hunt Family Foundation, and MountainStar Sports Group Foundation helped us raise an additional $1 million., And now Community en Acción’s matching challenge is allowing us to fulfill our mission of alleviating food insecurity, especially in the middle of a pandemic. Their generosity demonstrates the kind of leadership and solidarity that makes El Paso a great place to live.  We are thankful to the community for meeting the first matching grant and asking for your support in the new challenge.”

To keep the momentum going, Community en Acción (CEA) announced a $100,000 donation to the Food Bank and, coupled with two other anonymous donations, issued a new $600,000 fundraising challenge to the community to continue donating to El Pasoans Fighting Hunger.

Since the pandemic began, EPFH Food Bank has risen to meet the challenges by  distributing up to 11,000 emergency food boxes daily through its 5 mega-distribution locations and mobile pantries in El Paso, Culberson and Hudspeth Counties.

Officials share that the Food Bank spent $1.67 million in just the first month of its COVID-19 response, which accounted for more than half of its pre-COVID-19 annual budget. Seeing the need for additional funds, EPFH sought the help of the community, and local business and community leaders answered the call.

“It is heartening to see how El Pasoans have been here for each other during this crisis,” said Josh Hunt, President of the Woody and Gayle Hunt Family Foundation.  “Everyone is pitching in.  Individuals are significantly increasing their contributions.  Businesses are answering the call to action with donations and volunteer hours.  Community organizations are stepping up to lend their critical support to reduce the anxiety and fear so many are feeling.  We are proud to support the Food Bank and the many El Pasoans who will need it until our economy stabilizes.”

The Food Bank has seen both a surge in families accessing its services and a decline in volunteers, resulting in long lines and long wait times for families turning to the Food Bank during this pandemic.  As families face new financial hardships caused by unemployment, furloughs, or reduced hours, food security has become a real issue for more families in our region.

“This pandemic has challenged our community in many aspects, but we have always come together to lend a helping hand to those who need it,” said CEA Chair Emeritus Richard A. Castro. “I commend the Food Bank for continuing to support families in need and am proud to support its mission with this $100,000 donation from CEA. But, the work is not done and I encourage my fellow Community en Acción members and all business leaders across El Paso to contribute as part of our new challenge so that El Pasoans Fighting Hunger can continue its tremendous service to our community throughout the summer months.”

These donations announced today will allow the Food Bank to continue providing food and nutrition assistance to the hundreds of thousands of El Pasoans who have been affected by the COVID-19 crisis, as more than 50,000 people in the El Paso region filed unemployment claims and El Paso’s unemployment rate hit a historic high of 15 percent.

“Unfortunately the ongoing health and economic crisis means that the need continues for many people in our community.  It is critically important that those of us who can give to this new matching grant do so in order to support our neighbors and the Food Bank,” said Rosemary Marin, Board Chair of CEA.  “I am grateful to my fellow CEA members, especially Richard A. Castro, Raymond Palacios and Ed Escudero for stepping up to lead in this unprecedented moment.”

For more information on how to contribute to the El Pasoans Fighting Hunger Food Bank, visit their website or call (915) 298-0353.

El Pasoans Fighting Hunger adds 2 new drive-thru distribution sites

Wednesday morning, El Pasoans Fighting Hunger Food Bank officials announced the addition of two more drive thru food distribution sites.

Community members who are needing food assistance can visit a drive-thru distribution location nearest to their place of residence and pick up an emergency food box.

  • Abundant Living Faith Center – East – 1000 Valley Crest
Saturdays from 8AM-11AM – starting this Saturday, June 6, 2020.
  • El Paso County Coliseum – 4100 E. Paisano Dr.
Tuesday through Saturday from 10AM-2PM.
*Please note: There will be NO food distribution at the El Paso County Coliseum on Saturday, June 13, 2020.
These new sites are in addition to the already established sites around the El Paso area.  Below are the locations and times.
  • East/Far East/Socorro/Clint/San Elizario/Fabens/Horizon:
El Pasoans Fighting Hunger Food Bank at 9541 Plaza Circle –
Monday through Friday from 9AM-3PM & Saturday from 9AM-5PM.
  • West – Vinton, TX:

Bill Childress Elementary School – 7700 Cap Carter Road –

Mon & Fri from 10AM-2PM

  • Central:

Kelly Center for Hunger Relief at 915 N. Florence –

Tuesday through Friday from 10AM-2PM & Saturday from 9AM-12PM.

  • Northeast:

Katie’s Pantry at 4801 Sun Valley –

Monday through Friday from 10AM-2PM.

El Pasoans Fighting Hunger adds new food distribution site serving Fort Bliss

On Wednesday, officials with El Pasoans Fighting Hunger (EPFH) announced the addition of a new mobile pantry drive-thru distribution site serving Fort Bliss in partnership with El Paso Armed Services YMCA.

The site – located at 7060 Comington Street – starts distribution Wednesday, May 20, for people living in and around Fort Bliss. At this initial distribution volunteers provided food for 172 families and 667 people.

Officials add that the site will operate every Wednesday from 3 to 5 pm. Anyone in the community can pick up emergency food at this location.

Volunteers and personnel from the Armed Services YMCA of El Paso will be on hand to facilitate distribution at this site.

In addition, if there is any one in the Fort Bliss community who needs a meal, and/or are financially struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic, they can register to get support.

Current mega pantry drive-thru distribution locations:
• East: El Pasoans Fighting Hunger Food Bank – 9541 Plaza Circle – Mon-Fri. | 9AM-3PM
• West – Vinton, TX: Bill Childress Elementary School – 7700 Cap Carter Road – Mon & Fri. from 10AM-2PM
• West: Abundant Living Faith Center West – 7100 N. Desert Blvd. – Tues., Wed, Thurs. | 10AM-2PM
• Central: Kelly Center for Hunger Relief – 915 N. Florence – Tues.-Fri. | 10AM-2PM & Sat. | 9AM-12PM
• Northeast: Katie’s Pantry – 4801 Sun Valley – Mon-Fri. | 10AM-2PM
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis in March, the food bank has faced a soaring demand and are serving more families and individuals struggling with hunger.

So far, since the start of COVID-19 (March 19th) EPFH has distributed 263,043 boxes at 5 major distribution sites and several mobile sites per week.

EPFH is working to ensure that individuals impacted by COVID-19 and related disruptions continue to have the nutritious food they need. The food bank’s crisis team is partnered with Feeding America, a network of 200 food banks, and local partners to ensure the safest handling of food and distributions to our communities.  To donate or volunteer, click here.

SISD Cares Fund established to help feed families impacted by COVID-19 pandemic

With concern for its neighbors and a desire to make a positive difference, the Socorro Independent School District recently established a SISD Cares Fund to support El Pasoans Fighting Hunger Food Bank (EPFH Food Bank) in their efforts to feed families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

All monetary donations to the SISD Cares Fund will go toward providing meals to El Paso families during this pandemic.  The EPFH Food Bank has distributed close to 80,000 boxes of food to nearly 23,000 families in El Paso since the COVID-19 pandemic began, and there is still great need to assist those who are food insecure.

“We are proud to team up with our community partners El Pasoans Fighting Hunger and Paso del Norte Community Foundation to help families during this challenging and unprecedented pandemic,” said SISD Superintendent Jose Espinoza, Ed.D.

“It is of utmost importance to provide support to those that need it most. We encourage those in Team SISD who can join in our efforts to ensure no child or family goes without the nutritious food they need to stay healthy.”

Donations also will support the challenge grant established by Hunt Family Foundation, Paul L. Foster Family Foundation and MountainStar Sports Group Foundation who have agreed to match all donations made to El Pasoans Fighting Hunger up to $1 million.

“Donations of any amount will help feed the SISD community and this is a great opportunity for Team SISD, including employees, parents and students, business associates, and supporters, to contribute to those in most need during this difficult and uncertain time,” district officials share. “Together, Team SISD can make a meaningful impact.”

Click here to donate to the SISD Cares Fund

Zuill Bailey to connect the community through music at El Pasoans Fighting Hunger

Artistic Director of El Paso Pro-Musica and Grammy Award Winning Cellist Zuill Bailey, is rolling up his sleeves to provide soothing and comforting music from his Carbon Fiber Cello for the hundreds of residents who dedicate countless hours working with El Pasoans Fighting Hunger in Far East El Paso.

Bailey hopes to comfort all including the incredible volunteers, staff and the team of generous El Pasoans making a difference at the Food Bank.

Starting at 9 a.m. this Wednesday, Bailey will be stationed in front of the facility with his Carbon Fiber Cello, that can withstand all elements.

“It is the mission of El Paso Pro-Musica to make music accessible to all, ” says Bailey. “I am humbled and honored to be able to spend time at the El Pasoans Fighting Hunger Food Bank,  to soothe and comfort as many members of our community as possible with the sounds of the Cello, and making our mission a reality.”

El Paso Pro-Musica has worked to provide “virtual” musical experiences during the last two months alongside the El Paso Independent School District, Creative Kids of El Paso, the Alzheimer’s Association, 321 Progress, the Jewish Federation, the El Paso Holocaust Museum  and more.

Virtual performances by Bailey, world renowned artists and Faculty of the UTEP Department of Music and the UTEP Center for Arts Entrepreneurship are  featured on the El Paso Pro-Musica website “Making Music Matter.”

For more information about the El Pasoans Fighting Hunger Food Bank, click here to visit their website or Facebook page

Foster, Hunt Families, MountainStar Sports Group Foundation announce $1M Grant to El Pasoans Fighting Hunger Food Bank

The Paul L. Foster Family Foundation and the Woody and Gayle Hunt Family Foundation, in partnership with MountainStar Sports Group Foundation, have established a matching grant program of $1million to assist El Pasoans Fighting Hunger Food Bank (EPFH).  

The gift will enable the food bank to continue providing food and nutrition assistance to the hundreds of thousands of El Pasoans who are especially vulnerable during the COVID-19 crisis.

“El Pasoans Fighting Hunger plays a key role in our community by ensuring that any family experiencing food insecurity in El Paso has access to meals,” said Woody L. Hunt, co-owner of MountainStar Sports Group and Chairman of the Hunt Family Foundation.  “As more families face new financial constraints due to COVID-19, we want to help make sure those families are still able to put food on their tables and that no one in our community suffers from hunger during this crisis.”

Over the past two weeks, demand for meals and other services has dramatically increased in El Paso and surrounding areas as more families are being impacted by COVID-19.  The Food Bank has not only seen a surge in families accessing its services, but also a decline in volunteers, which has resulted in long lines and wait times as families arrive at the Food Bank.

Stuart R. Schwartz, Board President of EPFH said the COVID-19 pandemic has led to an immediate crisis in El Paso.  “Food insecurity has grown exponentially,” he said.  “The mission of El Pasoans Fighting Hunger is to address this very need, to bring comfort to those who have to make the difficult decision to pay rent or put nutritious food on their dinner table.”  Schwartz continued, “This matching grant is a godsend. The Food Bank is so very grateful to the Hunt and Foster families, as well as MountainStar Sports Group, for their extraordinary and generous gift. We encourage others to donate during this crisis so that the Food Bank can achieve the full match to continue our important work.”

Susan E. Goodell, Chief Executive Officer of El Pasoans Fighting Hunger said El Pasoans’ need for the Food Bank at this time is critical. “Our Food Bank has been serving families in El Paso County for years, but the need we are seeing in this moment could not be greater.”  She added, “We must be prepared to aid families through this crisis. We are so thankful to the Fosters, Hunts, and MountainStar Sports Group for their help during this time, and for others in our community who can donate money or time, we ask you to do so. The need at this time is extraordinary, and urgent.”

The Food Bank is anticipating that even more families will need access to its services and meals in the coming weeks, and it said the best way to meet that increased demand is through monetary donations.

The fund established by the Paul L. Foster Family Foundation, the Hunt Family Foundation, and the MountainStar Sports Group Foundation will match all donations made to El Pasoans Fighting Hunger up to $1million.

Click here for more information on how to contribute to the El Pasoans Fighting Hunger Food Bank

El Pasoans Fighting Hunger: Disaster preparedness is part of a food bank’s operational plan

In an update sent to supporters via an online newsletter, Susan Goodell of El Pasoans Fighting Hunger Food Bank, shared the challenges her organization has gone through in the past few weeks, and reminds the community of the work still needing to be done in the coming days and weeks.

We here at the Herald Post strongly support EPFH Food Bank and encourage all our readers to reach out and donate time or money (or both) as we make our way through the COVID-19 emergency together.
***

These past two weeks have been intense at the food bank.

Due to the evolving COVID-19 (Coronavirus) situation, we’ve had to modify our distribution model from one that relies on hundreds of soup kitchens, shelters, pantries, schools, emergency shelters and others throughout the region and focus on a different type of model that allows for drive-through distribution.

This model allows us to optimize distribution and minimize face-to-face interactions.

Since implementing the change, cars have been lining up and down the street at the food bank to pick up emergency food boxes. As vehicles approach our distribution point, volunteers place a box of food, along with frozen and fresh product, into their trunk and the vehicle drives away often smiling and waving to our dedicated staff and volunteers.

To meet the immediate need, we partnered with 4 local food pantries to strategically set-up  mega drive-through locations  around El Paso. That way we ensure our most vulnerable neighbors have access to the nutritious food they need during this difficult time.

We are focusing our efforts on the most vulnerable. Particularly our elderly, who are at the highest risk of COVID-19 complications. With schools closed, thousands of children are without breakfast and lunch. Many people are experiencing economic hardships due to employment losses or reductions.

The food bank is prepared to meet the needs of these families and individuals who are at greatest risk of hunger, many of whom may be coming to seek food for the first time.

We are here, we have the food supply, and we’re bringing additional food supply’s to our community to meet the need!

I can’t thank our staff, volunteers, donors and community partners enough for their dedication and hard work during this process! You are the backbone of our operation, allowing us to provide food to everyone who may be feeling frightened and alone.

We are all experiencing this together and together we will get through this.

Be safe and be assured that the food bank will stand strong for this community during these uncertain times.

Susan Goodell, CEO – El Pasoans Fighting Hunger Food Bank

~~~ How to help~~~

  1. Monetary donations do the most immediate good.  For every $1 donated, EPFH can provide 7 meals.  Make an online donation here or donate by texting FeedingElPaso to 243725

2. Community members who are able to volunteer can sign up here.  We are providing a letter of exemption that you can print out and have available before coming to volunteer at the food bank during the city-wide mandate to stay home. This will allow you peace of mind as you travel to and from our warehouse to assist us in packaging emergency food boxes.

For questions, contact Volunteer Coordinator, Miranda Chapman, at 915-247-0257 or by email at volunteer@epfhfb.org.

For more information, visit their Facebook or webpage.

Photo courtesy El Pasoans Fighting Hunger Food Bank

HACEP, El Pasoans Fighting Hunger teaming up for grocery deliveries to elderly residents

Thursday afternoon, officials with the Housing Authority of the City of El Paso announced that their organization is collaborating with El Pasoans Fighting Hunger Food Bank in order to provide food for elderly residents.

HACEP’s Resident Services staff are delivering food pantries to the residents’ doors to help avoid congregating in the common areas and community halls of the properties.

“Many residents at the elderly communities purchased food for approximately 1 to 2 weeks and now they are running out,” HACEP officials shared. “El Pasoans Fighting Hunger has been a partner with HACEP but at this time of need for many families, they are a blessing.”

For residents who wish to order their groceries online, Resident Services staff members are also assisting by helping them make the order and payment online for them.

Once the order is ready, a designated driver goes to pick up the groceries and delivers them to the resident’s door.

For residents who receive food stamps, the online payment system is not feasible for them, making the support of El Pasoans Fighting Hunger and its volunteers even more important.

Resident Services staff members are taking all the precautions necessary to stay safe in order to continue serving the elderly throughout these much needed times.

To donate to El Pasoans Fighting Hunger, click here.

Proper Printshop launches campaign to support Service Industry Workers

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, many hourly wage service industry workers are out of jobs, and fewer volunteers are able to work their shifts at food banks and other non-profit agencies dedicated to serving the food insecure.

To help out, Proper Printshop is launching the “Keep Calm and Stay Strong” campaign to support the Shift Forward initiative which will pay displaced restaurant workers $10 an hour to assist El Pasoans Fighting Hunger, a food bank struggling to meet the needs of the community as social distancing measures deplete its volunteer corps.

“All small businesses are being hit hard through social distancing measures, but we want to use our platform to help provide some relief for our local service industry and food bank.” said Alan Hodson, owner of Proper Printshop. “Proper has always been a community focused business and we want to support our community the best way we know how to.”

Proper Printshop will donate $10 from the sale of every “Keep Calm and Stay Strong” shirt to Shift Forward.  This will cover an hour’s worth of work for displaced restaurant.

To help promote social distancing, all domestic online orders are shipping for free during the COVID-19 crisis.

Shift Forward is the result of a partnership between the El Paso Community Foundation and Shiftsmart, the California based technology platform that recently launched a similar program, the Get Shift Done North Texas Initiative.

Donations to the Shift Forward Fund will go directly to funding service industry workers. The goal is to provide El Pasoans Fighting Hunger with more than 150 workers on a daily basis.

To purchase a “Keep Calm and Stay Strong Shirt”, click here.   To learn more about Shift Forward visit www.shift-forward.org

El Paso’s food bank is scrambling to feed hundreds of seniors during the coronavirus emergency. You can help

The city of El Paso has temporarily closed its senior centers to protect the population most at risk from the coronavirus. But the move has cut off about 900 senior citizens from their regular weekday lunches.

The community’s food bank, El Pasoans Fighting Hunger, is moving to quickly fill the nutrition void by assembling food boxes to be delivered to the affected seniors.

“So how it’s going to happen is there are 12 senior centers where those seniors typically would have gone to have their meals. And instead we’re going to have the boxes assembled, they’re going to drive up, they’re going to pop their trunk, we’re going to put a box in the trunk. And they’re going to drive off, so that they’ll have food items that they can basically sustain themselves during these times where it’s not possible for them to get the meals at the senior centers,” said Susan Goodell, CEO of El Pasoans Fighting Hunger.

The boxes contain cans and boxes of food. Each affected senior will receive a weekly box of food while the senior centers are closed, Goodell said.

The first 500 food boxes were assembled Saturday morning at the El Pasoans Fighting Hunger warehouse in the Lower Valley by volunteers from the Wounded Warrior Project. Diana Martinez volunteered with her children, Denali Negron, 14, and Yadiel Negron, 12.

Diana Martinez and her children, Yadiel Negron, 12, and Denali Negron, 14, packed food boxes Saturday at the El Pasoans Fighting Hunger warehouse. They were part of a group of volunteers from the Wounded Warriors Project who were preparing food boxes for senior citizens who can’t get lunch at senior centers during the coronavirus outbreak. (Robert Moore/El Paso Matters)

 

“It’s important to make sure everybody has access to food,” Martinez said. She and her children have been volunteering at the food bank for about four months.

The food bank also is working with El Paso County to provide food to several hundred senior citizens who are homebound and in need of food assistance.

El Pasoans Fighting Hunger is delivering food boxes each weekday to about 900 senior citizens who normally get lunch at a city senior center. The centers are closed as part of the attempt to control the spread of coronavirus. (Robert Moore/El Paso Matters)

The county typically provides four to six meals a week to these seniors. But because going outside the house for food could expose seniors to the coronavirus, the county and food bank are working to provide them with enough food for three meals a day, seven days a week, Goodell said.

“So we’re working with the county where we will provide food items for these seniors who are getting the prepared meals delivered to their door. We’re looking for things like cans of cling peaches or rice bowls, things that they don’t have to cook, because many of these seniors are not in a position to cook ingredients,” she said. “They need something that can be readily eaten. So we’re looking to supplement the hot meals the county provides.”

Goodell said El Pasoans Fighting Hunger is developing sites across the county where food boxes can be assembled and distributed.

El Pasoans Fighting Hunger needs donations and volunteer help during the coronavirus emergency.

 

The food bank asks that people donate money rather than food, because El Pasoans Fighting Hunger can create seven meals with each $1 donation.

Monetary donations can be made at the El Pasoans Fighting Hunger website, by calling (915) 298-0353, or by mailing a check to El Pasoans Fighting Hunger Food Bank, 9541 Plaza Circle, El Paso, TX 79927.

El Pasoans Fighting Hunger also needs volunteers to prepare food boxes for senior citizens. They are seeking healthy volunteers under age 60 to avoid exposing vulnerable people to illness. Volunteer applications can be made at the El Pasoans Fighting Hunger website.

Author+Photographer: Bob Moore  | Video Courtesy – El Paso Matters

Telles Academy opens food pantry to benefit area students

A new food pantry organized by the El Paso Independent School District in partnership with El Pasoans Fighting Hunger will kick off this week to help families in need.

After seeing a call for food assistance, Raymond Telles Academy organized a fresh food pantry will operate from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. every other Friday starting this week at the schools Central El Paso campus.

The pantry will serve the families of students at Telles, as well as those from EPISD’s College, Career & Technology Academy and the Region 19 Head Start program adjacent to the Telles/CCTA. The campus is located at 2851 Grant in the building that once housed Houston Elementary School.

To qualify, families must complete a registration form and participate in a one-time nutrition class available between 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. before the Telles food pantry opens every other Friday.

“Students started coming in asking for food for their families,” Telles’ parent liaison Elsa Torres said. “They are worrying about what their families are going to eat for the weekend, and we know that students can’t learn if they’re hungry or concerned about meals.”

Torres and the Telles social worker Ari Medina quickly saw the high number of students struggling with food insecurity and organized a small food pantry with donations from teachers that fed at least 80 people.

“We had a family that came in who needed food, so they filled out the application, and they were able to get food for these couple of days and told them to come back for our grand opening,” Torres said.

According to Feeding America food data, nearly one out of four children and one out of every seven adults in the state of Texas struggles with hunger.

“Unfortunately, some live paycheck to paycheck and don’t have the money saved for important things like a car repair, which takes them to school and work,” Torres added. “So a lot of times they have to make a difficult choice: groceries or things like car repairs.”

The school transformed an empty classroom into a small grocery store with colorfully decorated sections dividing the food items, and fundraised to purchase refrigerators and freezers to offer families meat and dairy.

“I had a young mom who had just had her baby when she came in,” Torres said. “She was grateful for what she said was our little store and she did a little ‘shopping.’”

The pantry was stocked for its initial week with the help of many people at Telles. Security guards, custodians, paraprofessionals and even student helpers moved a truck-full of food from a trailer into the pantry.

“It makes me happy to think how people have kindness in their heart to unite and do this for students,” said eighth-grade student Michelle Gabrieles, one of the students who helped stock the shelves at the pantry.

Telles Academy and CCTA teach students from different areas of the city and struggle with transportation. Medina hopes that having access to food options at their school will allow them to stay healthy.

Families can fill their bags or carts with organic sandwich bread, frozen meat, canned fruit and vegetables and fresh produce and will have access to bilingual healthy meal recipes.

“The students are very happy, so grateful. It’s a very rewarding service we are providing here,” said Medina, the social worker at the school. “We want to make the food pantry homey so that everybody can feel welcomed here.”

Story by Liliana Gonzalez | Photos by Leonel Monroy – EPISD

Paul L. Foster Family Foundation donates $500k to El Pasoans Fighting Hunger

Friday morning, officials with El Pasoans Fighting Hunger food bank announced a $500,000 donation from the Paul L. Foster Family Foundation that helps to fund Phase II for El Pasoans Fighting Hunger Food Bank Capital Campaign.

“We are beyond humbled by the very generous donation made by the Paul L. Foster Family Foundation. The investment that has been made in El Paso’s Food Bank will allow the growth and expansion necessary to serve the needs of the hundreds and thousands of people in our community who do not have enough to eat,” said Susan Goodell, CEO of El Pasoans Fighting Hunger Food Bank.

This gift represents a firm commitment on the part of the Paul L. Foster Family Foundation to overcome the plight of hunger, which confronts over 200,000 members of our community, mostly children under 16 years of age.

“Our Foundation is honored to be a part of our region’s efforts to meet the needs of El Pasoans who don’t have adequate food supplies for their families,” said Paul Foster.

“It is difficult to comprehend that one of out of every three children in El Paso don’t have enough food to eat, which is why we continue to help.  Alejandra and I know that the work being done by El Pasoans Fighting Hunger benefits those in our community who lack basic food and nutrition.  It makes us very proud to be a part of that initiative.”

El Pasoans Fighting Hunger Food Bank (EPFH) is El Paso’s only food bank and a member of Feeding America, the nation’s largest hunger relief network.

EPFH currently serves more than 200,000 food insecure individuals unsure of where their next meal will come from. EPFH works with more than 130 partner agencies to distribute as much as 15.5 million pounds of food a year in 3 county areas: El Paso, Hudspeth and Culberson. These agencies include food pantries, shelters, churches, and social service agencies that, together with EPFH, provide service to the hungry.

To learn more, click here.

EPISD Community Schools Partners to Open Community Food Pantries

Families in El Paso’s South Side will get some help in putting healthful food on their tables thanks to a partnership among the EPISD Community Schools program and El Pasoans Fighting Hunger and Project Vida.

The three entities have come together to open the first two school-based food pantries in EPISD at Guillen Middle and Zavala Elementary. The two pantries will serve 150 families in three campuses starting later this month.

“El Pasoans Fighting Hunger has been working with our schools for a long time with the mobile food pantry, but this is the first school-based food pantry in EPISD,” said Simon Chandler, EPISD’s Director of Community Schools. “I was happy we are part of project that is responding to a need. It’s another way to support the families that we have here.”

To qualify, families had to register for the service.

“We sent flyers homes with the students, put up posters and made calls to get the word out,” Chandler said. “At the end of each month, the families that are registered will get a basket with food. Once you’re registered that’s good for 12 months.”

The schools will receive up 1,000 pounds of food to start, but for now students are doing their part to chip in with a food drive of their own.

Eighth-grader Mariana Chavez thinks the pantry is a great way to make sure more students have access to healthful food once they go home.

“It’s great to help out other people,” Chavez said. “I brought a couple things, and it feels good to be able to part of this project.”

Guillen and Hart will share a pantry due to their proximity to the Community Schools family resource center on the Guillen campus. The pantry will be run with the help of parents and students, who will keep the food organized and stored correctly until it is collected.

“This is another way we can engage parents,” Chandler said. “They can come volunteer and learn more about some of the other programs we have available, such as the ESL and computers classes.”

For more information on how make a food donation contact 230-2550.

 Story by Alicia Chumley /Photos by Leonel Monroy – EPISD
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