St. George’s Food Pantry Feeds Hungry Borderland Families
Hidalgo County, Texas is located on the Rio Grande right on the Texas border with Mexico. It is one of the most financially challenged counties in the entire United States. Because of the great need we see daily in our nearby neighbors, many of whom are very recent immigrants to the USA, with families, including young children, elderly and many who are handicapped, St. George’s Orthodox Church in Pharr, Texas has for many years now responded to our neighbor’s needs as we are urged to do by our Lord Jesus Christ, who has told us in his Holy Scriptures:
"...for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me." ~ Matthew 25:35-36
Fr. Antonio Perdomo arrived in the Rio Grande Valley to be the Pastor of St. George Church in January 2002. Soon, it became apparent that the need for food and other assistance was very great, as testified by the frequent requests for food from those who came both to the parish and to his nearby home. Initially, St. George’s Food Pantry was created as an organized response to better serve those who already came to the Church hungry and in need. Within a few months, St. George’s Food Pantry grew, primarily by word of mouth. In short order, aproximately 50 families were being aided. Today, we are sharing with about 100 families each time the doors open. Unlike many food ministries elsewhere, who primarily serve the needs of the homeless population, St. George’s Food Pantry recipients are generally families, often these are very recent immigrants, unemployed or underemployed, who need some help making ends meet and in starting their new life in this country. Most of our Food Pantry clients speak Spanish and very little English. Initially, the Pantry was available as a weekly service, for the need is great here. However, due to financial constraints, for now it is open just twice a month. In addition to food boxes, it has shared warm clothing, blankets, bedding, mattresses, school supplies, toiletries, and house supplies.
Most of the food distributed is purchased from the Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley, at the cost of only $.14 per pound, but we welcome donations of canned goods and other non-perishable foods. We also long to make this a truly Pan-Orthodox effort! Although we are the only Orthodox Church in the entire Rio Grande Valley, we see ourselves as serving our Lord Jesus Christ here, “on behalf of all and for all” Orthodox Christians. We pray to become “Partners” with the Orthodox Christian Community—with Parishes, with individuals or families, with Youth and College groups —found throughout the region and this North American continent. To find out how you can help, or how you can create a Food Pantry in your own Parish neighborhood, please contact Fr. Antonio Perdomo at 956-781-6114 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Watch this promotional video to see a little bit of the behind the scenes action: