Helping those in need

SAN BENITO — Thanks to the generosity of these students, many families will receive the extra bit of help they need during this holiday season.

Yesterday, San Benito CISD personnel along with San Benito Food Pantry members celebrated the results of their canned food drive contest.

From October to November, schools throughout the district had been collecting cans for the food drive.

Rangerville Elementary School gathered 3,950 pounds of donations and was the winner of the food drive contest.

“It’s very emotional because we teach the students to be empathetic and do great things for the community,” Nora Principal of Rangerville Elementary, said as tears formed in her eyes. “So I think we’ve sent a very strong message to our students and think they’ve done a great job.”

The students will celebrate their win today with a superhero themed party where the kids can dress up.

“They were really excited to win,” she said. “To me, they’re considered to be superheroes that helped out others that might not have as much as they do.”

In total, the food drive helped collect 18,975 pounds of food for the food pantry.

Texas Juvenile Justice Department Human Service Specialist Ruben Martinez initiated and organized the food drive after seeing the food pantry’s plea to the community for help.

“Imagine how many families will have a great meal for the holidays now,” he said with a smile at the celebration. “That is what’s so important to me.”

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Nate Carman ended the ceremony by presenting a giant $1,035 check to the San Benito Food Pantry.

The need for donations

According to San Benito Food Pantry President Forest Walker, the organization serves more than 5,000 families a month.

“It gets real hard sometimes, but we hang in there,” she said. “So that’s why these food drives are so important.”

Walker said the hardest thing for her is seeing families struggle, especially around the holidays.

“Around this time of year when the children see Santa Claus, they don’t tell him they want a doll or a truck. They want food,” she said as she tried holding back tears. “There’s no way any child should say they need food and it breaks my heart.”