The start of the Food Bank was in 1989 when it was acknowledged that the state and federal governments were not providing all of the necessary help needed in the Laredo and that millions of pounds of edible foods, which could be used to feed the hungry, were being thrown into the landfill every year. In December 1989 the doors to the Laredo Webb County Food Bank first opened with one mission in mind, to help end hunger, here at home.
The "brain child" of three civic leaders: Odie Arambula, Erasmo Villareal and Galo Garcia, the food bank began operations in one room of the old Loros Supermarket, today the HEB Mercado Store. In 1992, the growing operation moved to a 10,000-foot hangar at the old air base. Its current location was acquired in 1997 thanks to a grant from the Lamar Bruni Vergara Foundation, funding from HEB, and a grant from the Meadows Foundation. The 36,000 square foot warehouse, located at 1907 Freight Street, is nestled in west Laredo, in the corner of Freight and Riverside, one block south of Calton Road. Inside you will find storage space, holding areas, processing room, repacking facility, and as well as walk-in coolers and freezers. This facility has allowed the Food Bank to further enhance its day to day operations and allow for the number of people serviced by the Food Bank to increase.
The name was officially changed to the South Texas Food Bank in 2008.
The food bank currently serves eight counties in the south Texas region: Webb, Zapata, Jim Hogg, Val Verde, Starr, Maverick, Dimmit and Kinney. The South Texas Food Bank is a certified member of the Texas Food Bank Network and Feeding America's Food Bank Network - the nation's largest domestic hunger relief organization. Currently, the South Texas Food Bank serves an average of 30,000 families every month.
(Photo clippings - Laredo Morning Times 1996 & 1997)