12/14/2015 by | Comments (0)
By SALO OTERO
South Texas Food Bank Marketing Manager
With a poverty rate of 33 percent and a childhood hunger rate of 40 percent in our Laredo, the need for the most basic – food and water – is “muy grande.” Hunger in our own backyard is not acceptable. That’s the cry of the South Texas Food Bank as it fulfills the mission of “feeding the hungry.”
The Christmas holidays are upon us. It is a time of gift-giving to loved ones and mindfulness by giving to the less fortunate. How about a alternative gift idea during the Christmas holidays? Think about a donation to the South Texas Food Bank Adopt a Family program. You can donate safely online (http://southtexasfoodbank.org/Donate/DonateNow.aspx) or mail check to: The South Texas Food Bank c/o Adopt-A-Family Program, P.O. BOX 2007, Laredo, TX 78044. You donation is tax-deductible.
The sponsorship program originated at the South Texas Food Bank 12 years ago. It allows an individual, a family or an organization to donate $120 for the year. In return a needy family receives a bag of groceries once per month for one year. More than 500 are on the program, but there is waiting list.
The South Texas Food Bank (STFB), celebrating its 26th anniversary, opened in 1989 with the help from H-E-B as the Laredo Webb-County Food Bank distributing supplemental food to the unemployed, under-employed and those living on fixed incomes especially the elderly. The STFB, member of Feeding Texas and the national organization Feeding America, now serves an eight-county area from Del Rio (Val Verde County) to Rio Grande City (Starr County), helping an average of 28,000 families, 7,000-plus elderly and 500-plus armed service veterans and their widows per month. Also, average of 1,800 children are served 2,500 meals Monday through Friday in the Kids Café program at 19 sites, including 15 in Laredo-Webb County.
The STFB is located at 1907 Freight at Riverside in west Laredo, phone (956) 726-3120, website
, Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr.
The adopt-a-family program has received a welcome response from the community . This past year a group of six boys from Col. Santos Benavides Elementary School sold lemonade and donuts, raising money to adopt six families. Through the years during the holidays, instead of exchanging gifts at office parties, money is collected and a donation made to adopt-a-family. Some families have also noted, “No gifts for us this year. We’re giving a donation to the South Texas Food Bank.” More than 10 donors to the program adopt one family per month. “It’s neighbors helping neighbors,” echoed South Texas Food Bank executive director Alma Boubel and board president Erasmo Villarreal.
The South Texas Food Bank, through its buying power via Feeding America and Feeding Texas, converts every dollar donated into 12 pounds of food, $17 worth of groceries or 10 meals.
Other STFB programs include:
Commodity Surplus Food Program (CSFP): A USDA program mostly for the elderly (age 60 and over). More than 7,000 elderly receive a monthly bag of groceries. Unfortunately, there is a waiting list of 500-plus. Those on the waiting list are candidates for adopt a family. Rachel Maldonado is the adopt-a-family coordinator and Juan Solis the CSFP coordinator.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps): South Texas Food Bank staff members assist, especially the elderly, with applications at the food bank office, community events, public locations or even at the applicants home. More than $20 million per year of food stamp money allocated to Webb County remains not applied for. Marissa Alvarez is the SNAP Outreach coordinator.
Emergency Assistance: The South Texas Food Bank distributes food at 80 pantries throughout the service area, including 40 in Webb County. An emergency bag is given to those in immediate need. More than 150 per month receive emergency aid.
Kids Café: Sadly, Texas ranks No. 1 in the nation in childhood hunger at 22 percent. Even sadder, Laredo’s childhood hunger is 40-plus percent. Nineteen Kids Cafes in Webb County serve an afterschool meal to more than 1,500 children Monday through Friday during the school year. The largest Kids Cafes are at Laredo Boys and Girls Clubs sites -- Roberto M. Benavides, Lamar Bruni Vergara and
Northwest. Ernie Hill is the Kids Cafe coordinator.
Ranchers for the Hungry: Ranchers can donate deer, steer or any other livestock. The program was named Food Resourcing Program of the Year in 2012 by Feeding America at the national Feeding America Network Summit in Detroit. Leo de la Garza is the food bank's food resourcer.
07/28/2015 by | Comments (0)
Do time for a good cause.
The South Texas Food Bank will be hosting their annual Empty Bowls “Jail & Bail” event on SATURDAY AUGUST 8th from 11 A.M. - 3 P.M.
We hope you will accept our invitation to be a part of this great event. All “Jailbirds” will be locked up at Mall Del Norte for a photo op. Refreshments will be provided and there will be plenty of media coverage. If you feel that you would like to help us but cannot personally attend, we will gladly “arrest” one of your representatives.
We are asking for your support in helping us sell 25 tickets to Empty Bowls IX concert. Tickets are available for $10, $15, and $25. You can contact your family, friends and colleagues for help!
You may also pay your “Bail” ahead of time with a donation of $250.00.
All the proceeds from this event will stay in Laredo to help the over 27,000 families the South Texas Food Bank services monthly. We need your help to make this event a success. Together we can all help end hunger in our community!
For more information or to sign up, contact Cindy at firstname.lastname@example.org or 956-726-3120. Sponsorship opportunities are available.
07/06/2015 by | Comments (0)
The South Texas Food Bank has a new executive director. She is native Laredoan Alma Boubel.
The South Texas Food Bank board, led by president Anna Benavides Galo, and interim director Erasmo Villarreal made the announcement of Boubel’s appointment effective July 1 at a recent employees meeting. She becomes the first female executive of the South Texas Food Bank, which opened in 1989.
A graduate of the University of Texas (Austin) with an accounting degree, Boubel’s work experience includes 17 years as manager of accounting and controller at Laredo Medical Center. She also has an MBA degree from Texas A&M International University. She joined the STFB in December of 2014 as an accountant.
Boubel is married to Laredoan Edward Boubel, employed by the oil and gas industry. She attended Our Lady of Guadalupe School and Lamar Middle School before garduatiing from J.W. Nixon High School in 1977. The couple has a daughter, Brittany, a sophomore at St. Augustine High School. Her parents are Laredo business owners Jesus M. Rodriguez and the former, Ninfa Garza Rodriguez, both in their 80s.
Boubel noted, “I am greatly honored and humbled with this amazing opportunity that has been bestowed upon me. So proud to lead such a wonderful organization that changes so many people’s lives in our and surrounding communities.”
Board president Galo said, “Our mission of feeding the hungry continues under a new dynamic executive director. She brings great attributes to lead the South Texas Food Bank into the future.’’
Interim director and longtime board member Villarreal added. ”Our new executive director is a strong compassionate leader with a great vision to help alleviate hunger in our area.”
The South Texas Food Bank (STFB) opened in 1989 under the auspices of H-E-B as the Laredo Webb-County Food Bank distributing supplemental food to the unemployed, under-employed and those living on fixed incomes especially the elderly. The STFB, member of Feeding Texas and the national organization Feeding America, serves an impoverished eight-county area from Del Rio (Val Verde County) to Rio Grande City (Starr County), helping an average of 27,000 families, 7,000 elderly, 7,000 children and 500 veterans and their widows per month. The food bank serves an after school meal to an average of 1,500 children per day Monday through Friday in the Kids Café program at 19 sites. The food bank website is www.southtexasfoodbank.org. Tax deductible donations can be mailed to South Texas Food Bank, 1907 Freight, Laredo, Tex., 78041.
06/19/2015 by | Comments (0)
A “Strike Out Hunger” bowling tournament fundraiser for the South Texas Food Bank mission of feeding the hungry is set for Tuesday July 21 at 5:30 p.m. at Jett Bowl North. The tourney is open to everyone. Five-player teams (three games) can sign up for $125 per lane. Sponsorship advertising is open for $250. For information call Cindy Liendo at 726-3120 or email email@example.com.
The South Texas Food Bank (STFB) opened in 1989 under the auspices of H-E-B as the Laredo Webb-County Food Bank distributing supplemental food to the unemployed, under-employed and those living on fixed incomes especially the elderly.
The STFB, member of Feeding Texas and the national organization Feeding America, serves an impoverished eight-county area from Del Rio (Val Verde County) to Rio Grande City (Starr County), helping an average of 27,000 families, 7,000 elderly, 7,000 children and 500 veterans and their widows per month. The food bank serves an after school meal to an average of 1,500 children per day Monday through Friday in the Kids Café program at 19 sites.
The food bank website is www.southtexasfoodbank.org. Tax deductible donations can be mailed to South Texas Food Bank, 1907 Freight, Laredo, Tex., 78041.
06/04/2015 by | Comments (0)
Panda Express Chinese Kitchen of Laredo is helping the South Texas Food Bank mission of feeding the hungry. On Monday, June 8 the restaurant, located at 2603 North Bob Bullock Loop, will donate a portion of all its proceeds to the South Texas Food Bank.All Panda Express establishments across the nation are involved via Feeding America. The project is called, “Together we’re Feeding America.” Panda Express founders Andrew and Peggy Chang note, “With 49 million people in America struggling with hunger the Panda Express family is proud to partner with Feeding America and its nationwide network of local food banks to help solve hunger.”The Laredo Panda Express is open from 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., mostly as a take out kitchen. Juana Talavera is the manager and Eddie Rodriguez, the assistant. Rodriguez, a 2012 graduate of Alexander High School, said, “Panda Express is super happy to be a community partner. Each plate purchased provides 12 meals for people – that’s incredible what the food bank does to help the needy.” He added that the business is doing very well, thanks to Laredo’s response. He has been with the company since the store opened three years ago after training in Houston. “The corporation is shooting to raise up to $10 million for Feeding America,” he said.
The South Texas Food Bank, located at 1907 Freight in west Laredo, telephone 956.726-3120, website www.southtexasfoodbank.org, serves 27,000 families per month.