Photo: Courtesy / Offices Of Webb County Commissioner Cindy Liendo
Hundreds of meals were provided Friday morning for people around the Laredo community through a collaboration between the Laredo Regional Food Bank, the Texas National Guard and the offices of Webb County Commissioner Cindy Liendo.
According to Commissioner’s Executive Assistant Priscilla Pantoja, the food distribution by the Laredo Regional Food Bank lasted about four hours and helped 1,000 people from around the community.
“We had the Texas National Guard and Commissioner Cindy Liendo join the Laredo Regional Food Bank kick off another series of food distributions,” Pantoja said.
The collaboration allowed them to reach more people throughout the community. The director of the food bank said the assistance has helped many people have the food they need on the table while also helping others like the elderly to avoid going out grocery shopping.
“The Laredo Regional Food Bank is thankful for the support provided by the National Guard during what continues to be difficult times,” Laredo Regional Food Bank Director Carmen Garcia said. “With the assistance of the National Guard and since their arrival in late January, the Food Bank has helped distribute over 70,000 pounds of food to over 1,000 families in the Laredo service area in our continued efforts to address hunger and food insecurity amid the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The food distributions occurred in a couple of locations where people could pick up their items, and some goods were even delivered to homes.
Liendo praised the support she got from the statewide National Guard as this helped them reach out to more people and also get all the items necessary.
“My staff, and I were happy to spend the morning at the Laredo Regional Food Bank assisting with the food distribution along with the hard-working team of volunteers from the Texas National Guard,” Liendo said. “It’s always great to see how much can be accomplished when multiple organizations come together. The families receiving the food items were extremely grateful.”
Pantoja also praised the collaborative effort as they met many families that needed assistance and finally had some food in their homes.
“Collaborations really go a long way, even more so during a crisis,” Pantoja said. “It’s heartbreaking to see so many of our families struggling to bring food to their homes. Having an opportunity to bring a smile to those driving through the food distribution and providing uplifting words is encouraging to them and motivating for us.”
Pantoja said although the food may not be all they need nor will it help them stay safe from the virus, it at least helps people feel mentally well even if it’s just for a while. According to Pantoja, mental health is another major problem.
“This pandemic has really taken a toll on many people’s mental health, and just being a part of an operation that provides this type of relief lifts morale all around,” Pantoja said. “It’s incredible how much we can accomplish when we come together as a community.”
Future events have not been scheduled yet, but Pantoja said the county government will continue to partner with nonprofit agencies to assist the community.