VALENTINE - Valentine's Day was a big day for the city of Valentine, Texas. The city is now home to their very first food pantry where those in need can pick up food items throughout the week.
Jeff Davis County opened their very first food pantry and what better day to open a food pantry in Valentine than on Valentines Day?
The Mayor of Valentine, Chuy Calderon, said, "We're very happy. We feel blessed because we can go to bed at night knowing that nobody should go hungry in this little town."
The Jeff Davis County Food Pantry has a unique setup where individuals can choose their own groceries.
Tex Anderson, the Executive Director of the Jeff Davis County Food Pantry, said, "We believe that everybody should be able to choose their groceries and what happens with so many food pantries across the country is that they pre-package them and just hand them out. So this way you don't, you get to come in and pick out the food that you actually want."
The pantry is open throughout the week and those in need can select a variety of different items that suit their nutritional needs. The food that the pantry collects are all healthy and nutritional items.
"Anytime somebody needs something they can come here during the week. The way it used to be, they were coming every two weeks on Saturdays and they were giving them a bag of food. Now they have a choice, they can go in there and pick out 18 items," Calderon said.
"18 different items that would be canned or boxed items and then we have one or two frozen things. Plus, since the schools do not have a school lunch program in Jeff Davis County, we do provide lunch foods for the children," Anderson said.
The Jeff Davis County Food Pantry encourages everyone, who is able, to donate healthy items to the pantry for those who may not be able to afford groceries on their own.
"I would like everyone to remember that food and security is across the nation and it would be nice if you could consider giving to any food pantry. Ours has a lot fewer to choose from to give, so if you ever want to come down here for any of our events, we have a great bicycle ride in the fall, you can help our pantry out that way," Anderson said.