City Manager Martin Garza said he remembers picking up food at 115 S. Mayberry Street with his mother when he was a child. The building has since been renovated and will now serve as a center for all families struggling to provide food for their household.
A ribbon cutting ceremony was held to celebrate the opening of the Mission Food Pantry’s new headquarters on Mayberry Street.
“We have come a long ways from the county warehouse to the city building on Kika de la Garza loop to this building on south Mayberry,” the food pantry director said. “This facility is going to be wonderful to offer our families better service.”
The pantry will be open Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. In the past, the pantry was only open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. – noon, and it served about 400 families a week, Ortega said. With a full time schedule, Ortega said she hopes to serve even more families in the area.
The new location won’t officially open until Ortega receives the building’s occupancy permit from the city council, but she hopes to get to work on Feb. 26.
In addition, the building is complete with a social event room, which can house small-scale gatherings, and conference room.
The pantry works solely off of donations from people in the community. Mission High School’s Future Farmers of America collected and donated more than 45,000 cans for the new location’s grand opening. Other donors include the Mission Lions Club and the Rotary Club of Mission.
“We don’t have a boundary for who we serve. We serve whoever needs it,” Ortega said. “The whole community needs to remember that they are feeding the needy, not the greedy.”
Father Roy Snipes from Our Lady of Guadalupe gave the invocation at the ribbon cutting ceremony. He compared the Mission Food Pantry to the people of La Lomita Mission who helped nurture lost missionaries that came through the area in the early 1900s.
“There’s something about this town,” Snipes said. “It’s that sense of hospitality that you can pick up, that sense of ‘if you’re lost and can’t find your way, come on in and get a taquito and a cup of coffee. We’ll be your friend on this journey.’”