A local food pantry will be providing assistance to members of the United States Coast Guard and their families suffering as a result of the ongoing partial federal government shutdown.
Blessed Angels Community Center, which operates the pantry, was contacted this week by United States Coast Guard representatives and asked to provide assistance to Active Duty military families struggling to pay bills.
For almost a month, some 800,000 federal workers have been furloughed or are working without pay. The pantry has begun gathering food, household supplies and diapers and other baby care products to distribute to the military members starting later this week.
“Hunger doesn’t know or respect boundaries,” said Marion Thomas, the pantry’s executive director. “Our mission is to fight hunger and to give hope with kindness and compassion to whoever needs food assistance. And right now, those Coast Guard families really need it,” she noted.
Over the past 5 years, the pantry has provided free emergency food supplies, clothing and other assistance to 110,661 low income veterans, senior citizens, homeless veterans, evacuees, and families in need in Bexar and surrounding counties.
An estimated 49 million Americans are food insecure. Texas is the most food insecure state in the nation.
Blessed Angels is dedicated to also extending a helping hand to homeless, low income and at- risk veterans with food assistance, toiletries, and other items as they become available, she said. E
Estimates are that nationally one out of every three homeless men and women sleeping in a doorway, alley or box has put on a uniform in service to the country.
“While our focus is the local community, this is a special and very serious case, so we are collecting and preparing to serve an as yet an untold number of Coast Guard personnel and their families with emergency food supplies and more. But because we were asked, we will also collect and distribute household goods, and especially baby supplies and diapers, and gas cards to these federal law enforcement officers in their time of need,” Thomas said.
Blessed Angels Community Center’s Emergency Food Pantry is operated by an all volunteer group and “100% of all donations are used for the benefit of homeless and low income veterans, seniors and needy families. Donations are needed for this worthy cause. You can donate online at blessedangelscc.org or visit our office 14094 Nacogdoches, Thomas said
The pantry’s collaborative partners include the San Antonio Food Bank, the National Veterans Outreach Program of the American GI Forum, the San Antonio Optimist Club, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity.