Mission leaves Boys & Girls Club food agreement in limbo

The Mission City Council delayed a decision Monday on whether or not a western Hidalgo County nonprofit may provide meals to the local Boys & Girls Club.

RGV Read and Feed — a nonprofit corporation owned by South Texas College board Trustee Victoria “Vicky” Cantu, Peñitas City Councilman Alex Guajardo and his wife, Roxanna — wanted to provide the Mission Boys & Girls Club with meals through a Texas Department of Agriculture program.

ReadAndFeedLogoThe Boys & Girls Club board, however, apparently had concerns about the company. Mayor Armando “Doc” O’caña said board President Albert Pena asked him to remove the agreement from the City Council agenda.

“That’s the reason why I pulled it out,” O’caña said, adding that he believed the nonprofit offered an outstanding service but wanted to respect the Boys & Girls Club board. “I had no reservations whatsoever.”

O’caña said he didn’t know why the Boys & Girls Club wanted the agreement removed from the City Council agenda. An attempt to arrange an interview with Pena was unsuccessful.

A company called “All Children’s Nutrition” worked with the Boys & Girls Club for years, providing meals to kids through a state Department of Agriculture initiative called the Child and Adult Care Food Program, said club Director Juan Arevalo.

The Boys & Girls Club provides about 100 to 150 meals every day during the school year and 600 to 800 meals every day during the summer.

When the owner decided to retire, the state Department of Agriculture sent the Boys & Girls Club a letter, Arevalo said. The letter included a list of potential partners, including RGV Read and Feed.

“And, at this point, RGV Read and Feed is the one that really has everything that we need,” Arevalo said.

The Boys & Girls Club also wanted to move quickly.

Without a sponsor, the club paid for meals out-of-pocket.
In January, the board earmarked $2,000 to purchase meals, according to meeting minutes approved by the City Council.

“And that’s the reason we reached out to Mission Boys & Girls Club,” Guajardo said, adding that RGV Read and Feed would completely cover the cost.

RGV Read and Feed already partners with the La Joya Independent School District, the La Joya Housing Authority and local churches.

Guajardo attended the City Council meeting Monday, prepared to discuss the program. Nobody asked him any questions.

“I don’t know why the city of Mission would put ‘No action,’” Guajardo said, referring to the decision.
What, if any, concerns the Boys & Girls Club board had about RGV Read and Feed remain unclear.

Rumors about the company circulated in November 2017, when a deputy constable stopped RGV Read and Feed employees with cartons of milk.

The employees said they worked for school board Trustee Alex Cantu, the husband of Vicky Cantu, according to law enforcement records, which summarize the incident.

Concerned about the appearance of impropriety, the Hidalgo County Precinct 3 Constable’s Office contacted the Texas Rangers, which conducted a cursory investigation. They didn’t find anything amiss and closed the case without any charges.

Mission may reconsider the RGV Read and Feed agreement at a future meeting.

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