A group of volunteers assembled at the Good Samaritan Center on the corner of Pecan and 7th Streets on Tuesday morning to unload a trailer of food from the Austin Food Bank. The center, which is run completely by volunteers, is the county’s food pantry and aid center for those in need.
They receive around 2,000 to 3,000 pounds of food twice a month for the pantry, sell clothing and other items in their thrift store, and provide financial aid for families in need.
“We buy food if we don’t get enough,” President David Armstrong explained. “Merchants are also good about giving us food.”
Boxes of produce, meat, macaroni, and Hot Pockets, along with trays of canned products and bags of vegetables, were carried into the center and put onto shelves and into refrigerators.
Lately, Armstrong said, they’ve had trouble getting meat.
The food pantry serves around 150 families per month. “It has grown in the last few years due to the economic conditions,” said Armstrong.
As demand for Good Samaritan’s services has grown, the biggest problem has been the lack of room. In December 2010, the center was “busting at the seams” and Armstrong and the organization reached out for donations. By June, they had begun the foundation.
The expansion is now nearly finished and will house the food pantry, allowing the thrift store in front to expand into where the food is now stored.
“It adds a third to the area we presently have,” reported Armstrong.
The center is thankful for the community support; Armstrong said the people of Blanco have been very generous. The center runs on donations and, without them, the operation and expansion wouldn’t be possible.
The center is still looking for donations to continue operating. As they are a 501(c)3 non-profit, donations are tax-deductible.
Monetary donations go a long way, explained Armstrong, as the center can use money in a variety of ways–to help purchase items from the food bank at a discount, or to help complete the expansion. They also accept non-perishable, commercially packaged and canned food (sorry, no home canned items can be taken), and gently used clothing.
For more information, call Good Samaritan at 830-833-2575 or mail PO Box 298, Blanco, TX 78606.