The Devine Food Pantry will be moving next week to its new location at 309 N . Teel, just down the road a few blocks from its current location. The last day they will be open at the current location will be Tuesday, March 2nd for the morning session. The Food Pantry will be closed from March 3-13 for moving and training. They will reopen at the new location (old Graham Tin and Plumbing/Fusion Fitness Bldg) on Monday, March 14. The new location will have lots of benefits for the customers, but will be more costly as they will now have to pay $1,000 in rent which will have to be raised monthly or donations sought to help on a monthly payment schedule.
We are looking forward to the move, having more space, and switching over to a new system called “Client Choice”. Client Choice will allow the customer to pick out their own groceries based upon a point system and food choices available. “I think the clients will like the new Client Choice system which will allow them to choose foods they like or need , instead of pre-made boxes,” said Doug Trott, President of Devine Food Pantry. “It will be set up like a grocery store. Their points will be based on their family size just as it is now. They will get to do their own shopping and the volunteers will be there to help as needed.”
Hours will continue as usual at the current location Tuesdays and Thursday from 10-1 and 4-6, closed on the first and third weeks in the evenings only. Hours will be the same at the new location at this time.
“There will be a learning curve. A bunch of our volunteers went to a food pantry in the hill country called “Kitchen Table” which uses the “Client Choice” system, and the clients and volunteers there really like it. We liked it too and think our clients will as well,” said Trott.
During the month of January 2017 the local food pantry helped out 391 families and 1535 individuals.
Currently monetarily two churches and the Hospice Thrift Shop make donations each and every month to the food pantry. “It really helps us out because we know we have those three who send us money each month and we can use it in our budget. The MV Church of the Nazarene ( Ed Dougherty, Pastor), and Christ Church (Larry Erwin, Pastor) graciously send us money monthly. Another major contributor monetarily is our local Devine Area Hospice Thrift Shop. They are a huge help,” said Trott. “Any group that can and is willing to help us out and set up a monthly donation system we would be grateful for. If we could get 100 people to donate $10 a month, or 50 to donate $20 or 10 to donate a $100 a month we would be so grateful. Any and all donations are welcome. We will continue to fundraise which have been a big help. Cindy Billebault has done a great job of fundraising and seeking out donations. And the local schools, businesses and church hosting food drives and making donations are so helpful too. But in order to make the rent we are going to need some help in a monetary way we can count on monthly and I hope we can find some,” said Trott.
Donations of food come each month from the SA Food Bank, Walmart Devine & Hondo, HEB Lytle, Food King, drop off community sites and food drives.
“We would like to thank Judge Schurhart and Commissioner Beck for allowing us to use the county building the last few years until it was sold. We hope to have a permanent building of our own someday, and are looking for a volunteer grant writer to help us out.”