Community food pantries, programs prepare to help families as kids return to class

SAN ANTONIO – School supplies are not cheap, with the extra costs are eating into a lot of families budgets this summer. For a lot of people, that means turning to our local food pantries and programs.

“It is amazing that the Southside has this food pantry,” Irene Nieto said.

Nieto shared how she has brought many kids and grandchildren up through Southside ISD and knows firsthand how important this food pantry is for the community.

“We have parents that are under poverty level in this district. We have parents that are right above poverty level in this district. Those parents, you know, working families food runs out. Children get hungry,” Nieto said.

The need in our community isn’t isolated to the South Side.

“What we do allows people to spend money on other things, like school supplies and things,” Lonna Averill with Real Life Community Outreach said.

Lonna Averill helps out at Real Life Community Outreach, a program her parents started that helps more than 350 families every week.

“We talk to families all the time that tell us how appreciative they are of what we’re doing and how they couldn’t make it without us. And again, they’re able to buy medication daily and just different things like that,” Lonna Averill said.

There are so many opportunities for you to step up and help out food pantries are always looking for donations, especially this time of year.

“If anybody wants to help and take up a food donation, we welcome it. We can certainly use the help [with] non-perishable foods, particularly right now we’re out of cereal, so cereal would be very beneficial,” Randy Escamilla, director of public relations for Southside ISD said.

Additionally, those interested can also volunteer their time to serve the community.

“We want volunteers. We love it when companies come and serve with us. They don’t have to go far away right here. Companies in the North, Northeast side of town can come to serve with us,” Averill said.

About the Authors

Max Massey is the GMSA weekend anchor and a general assignments reporter. Max has been live at some of the biggest national stories out of Texas in recent years, including the Sutherland Springs shooting, Hurricane Harvey and the manhunt for the Austin bomber. Outside of work, Max follows politics and sports, especially Penn State, his alma mater.

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