CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — West Oso Independent School District, the Coastal Bend Food Bank, and Communities in Schools Food Pantry partnered together to open the “Grace’s Pantry” food bank at JFK Elementary School.
The food bank will provide West Oso families with a place to get food to put on the table if they are in need.
“We all understand that no child should ever go to bed hungry,” said Conrado Garcia, superintendent of West Oso ISD. “This is one small way of saying we can help you in that process to get back on your feet.”
The pandemic has been tough on families in the Coastal Bend, and this food pantry can provide some relief to families in need.
“My husband lost work, and Communities in Schools was here to help, and with this pantry, it’s going to be a great blessing for not only our children, but the community as well,” said Victoria Hernandez, the mother of two West Oso students.
Hernandez said her family would attend the Coastal Bend Food Bank food distribution events, but this food pantry offers parents a nearby option that will be available to them when they need it.
“They can feel home. They can feel safe coming here, and it’s close to their home where they’re at, and they can just come here and get what they need,” she said.
During his introduction of the food pantry, Garcia called up Hernandez to the front of the room, and said to her, ”you’ve got lots of friends now. Please use this, and know that you’re always welcome here,” speaking to her, but also every other West Oso parent who needs the help of the school district.
“The pandemic has brought a lot of suffering to families, and let’s be very strong with the use of that word. They’ve been unemployed, they haven’t had as much food in their homes, they have struggles emotionally and physically. This pantry helps with that, to give them the security that they need, at least they don’t have to worry about food,” Garcia said.
The pantry will be open during school hours, and only two days each month during the summer; but the district said Grace’s Pantry will always be available during emergency situations, and to contact the district if the need arises. Dates and times for summer hours will be available on the West Oso ISD Facebook page.