SB school gives back to the community

SAN BENITO — It was all about giving back to their community.

Yesterday, Matthew Barlow’s military science classes rounded up about 640 items to give to the local food pantry.

But it wasn’t just the Miller Jordan Middle School classes that gave; it was teachers, staff and the community who also donated.

The students spent three weeks collecting the donations.

“I wanted to instill in the students the importance of giving back to the community,” Barlow said.

“Everyone worked very hard. I want them to see all the good values it brings to the community. Why not give back? If we don’t, nobody else will.”

Boxes were filled with canned items and various other “food stuffs” while Forest Walker, president of the San Benito Food Pantry, and her team of volunteers began loading their truck.

The items gathered by Barlow’s classes are expected to last the pantry a week.

Upon seeing the boxes, Walker expressed her thanks for the donations.

“This is so wonderful,” she said.

“Next time, we’re going to do even more,” Barlow said.

Walker, a San Benito native, spends seven days a week working at the pantry.

When the pantry opened in 1991 it served about 50 families.

Today, Walker said, the pantry serves about 5,000 clients a month in the San Benito and surrounding areas.

“We’re going strong and we have many volunteers,” she said.

The food is supplied by the Food Bank Rio Grande Valley and through various donations.

On Wednesdays, the food is packed and distributed to the many clients in need.

“We’re all aware of the people in San Benito and the surrounding areas who seek help from the San Benito Food Pantry on a monthly basis,” Walker said.

In addition to food donations, the pantry also takes monetary donations. Walker said those donations are important because the pantry can purchase food at a more reasonable price from the Valley pantry.

The pantry also relies heavily on volunteer involvement and is always seeking help from willing volunteers.

“We’re so blessed. They work very hard,” she said.

Just recently, Dish Network donated 5,000 pounds of food.