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20131008 MISSION Food-pantry 0391A steady stream of people stopped in at the Mission Food Pantry on Tuesday morning as Carmen Flores continuously filled plastic grocery bags with a baggie of pinto beans, a can of corn and a can of mixed vegetables.

The pantry was formed by a group of churches in 1987, and since then, the food bank has opened several others in the area. The need is still great, said Adela Ortega, president of the food pantry’s board. Each Tuesday and Thursday from 8 a.m. to noon at a temporary location, 1400 E. Kika De La Garza Loop, about 45-100 people come for food. She estimated about 500 people are served each month.

Tuesday, most of the shelves at the pantry were bare, and Ortega said the organization’s been hurting throughout the summer. This week, more than $800 from the agency’s $7,000 budget was spent on groceries.

“We’re empty because people are not donating can goods to the pantry like they used to,” Ortega said. “We’re in dire need.”

The Lion’s Club continues to help support the organization and the Mission Food Pantry gets donations of vegetables and eggs, but there is no cold storage at the facility to keep the food, and she doesn’t like to give out the eggs because they haven’t been properly stored.

Residents can help by donating non-perishable items to the pantry, Ortega said. She asked that perishable items not be outdated, something the pantry sometimes gets. Clean clothes and shoes can also be dropped off in front of the pantry.

Also, she said, if donators want to drop off any items that can’t be left outside in the drop box, Ortega is available to open the pantry. Reach Ortega at 956-458-9066.

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