Man’s legacy living on through Pleasanton food pantry, daughters say

Jesus “Jesse” H. Antu, Jr., 61, passed away in December 2020 in Campbellton

In Pleasanton, there’s a food pantry that has been providing for the community for a year.

PLEASANTON – In Pleasanton, there’s a food pantry that has been providing for the community for a year.

The mission of the pantry itself is simple: feed those in need.

”Some way to give back with food, just because that is a need and that is something we all can be helping with,” Brianna Rodriguez said.

The Jesse’s Snack Pantry has been in Pleasanton at the First Baptist Church youth center at 311 N Smith St. for a year now.

Rodriguez started it with her sister Marissa Partida.

“My sister has been at the pantry a few times, you know, restocking it and cleaning it and checking it out and people have been there. An older lady told her, ‘I wouldn’t have eaten today if this wasn’t here,’” Rodriguez said.

The pantry is restocked by Rodriguez and her sister, and also by members of the community. You can find things like baby food, even canned goods, but also a little bit about Jesus “Jesse” H. Antu, Jr., the pantry’s namesake and Rodriguez’s father.

“It was December 2020 and it’s just really unfortunate because he was fine and then he wasn’t and then he was fine and then the next day he was gone,” she said.

Her dad worked as a pipeliner for decades. Rodriguez said he had his own tagline: “Nothing finer than a pipeliner.”

He had to give up working on his beloved machinery when his diabetes took his eyesight, forcing him onto disability and into the care of his girls.

“My sister and I, we used to have to take my dad to a lot of doctor’s appointments and so we would say come on dad, we’re going on an adventure,” Rodriguez said.

Unfortunately, COVID took his life at 61 years old after a short battle. His girls didn’t want their dad to become another pandemic statistic, they wanted his legacy to live on through the pantry.

“You’re feeding a village dad, you are continuing to serve,” she said tearfully.

Jesse’s Snack Pantry is open 24/7, and donations including toiletries are welcome.

Nearby, Pleasanton ISD has started its summer feeding program.

Until June 30, their primary, elementary and junior high schools will re-open for breakfast from 7:30 a.m. until 9:30 p.m.

Lunch is served from 11 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

About the Authors:

Leigh Waldman is a news reporter at KSAT 12. She joined the station in 2021. Leigh comes to San Antonio from the Midwest after spending time at a station in Omaha, NE. After two winters there, she knew it was time to come home to Texas. When Leigh is not at work, she enjoys eating, playing with her dogs and spending time with family.

Adam Barraza is a photojournalist at KSAT 12 and an El Paso native. He interned at KVIA, the local ABC affiliate, while still in high school. He then moved to San Antonio and, after earning a degree from San Antonio College and the University of the Incarnate Word, started working in news. He’s also a diehard Dodgers fan and an avid sneakerhead.