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San Benito Food Pantry on Verge of Shutdown

1 year 5 months 3 weeks ago Wednesday, July 31 2019 Jul 31, 2019 July 31, 2019 4:40 PM July 31, 2019 in News - Local

SAN BENITO - A Rio Grande Valley food pantry is still feeling the effects of a government shutdown that happened over six months ago.

The San Benito food pantry is trying to survive, but government workers, the increase of summer needs and the lack of donations is a combination leaving the pantry staff fighting a battle they might not be able to win.

Darilo Leija says food is just too expensive and the government help he gets is not enough to cover a full month; his health depends on this pantry.

He lives between San Benito and Rio Hondo, two cities that depend on the pantry for food.

CHANNEL 5 NEWS spoke to the President of the San Benito Food Pantry Forest Walker.

“It is getting really hard on the pantry and just to be honest with you if our monetary donations don't start coming in, we may have to shut the pantry down,” says Walker.

Walker says they have been serving the area for more than 30 years; earlier this year they announced those affected by the government shutdown could stop by.

Over 400 government workers showed up monthly during the shutdown, but this month that number was still around 100. A number too high for the pantry to handle.

He says they are now serving up to 5,000 people a month, Tuesday before noon their count was over 650.

Walker says more than eight local churches have stopped donating as well as local businesses, and she doesn't know why.

CHANNEL 5 NEWS reached out to some of the churches that stopped their donation pledges; we are still waiting for their response.

For more information watch the video above.

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