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Loaves and Fishes Expanding Services in Willacy County

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RAYMONDVILLE – A Rio Grande Valley shelter is expanding its services to help a county in need. Harlingen’s Loaves and Fishes will now serve free meals four days a week.

Armando Rodriguez, a Raymondville resident, knows the struggles it takes to make ends meet. He’s been unemployed for five years due to a leg injury.

The Raymondville man said the small monthly disability check isn’t enough to stay afloat. He said his church directed him to Loaves and Fishes.

“The pastor told me about the program. For me this is good, this helps me a lot,” he said.

Rodriguez said he can’t always eat three meals a day. He added the newly expanded services keep him and his family from going hungry.

“I feel content because for four days I will be eating,” he said.

Loaves and Fishes Executive Director Bill Reagan sees the importance of helping in Willacy County. Over the last year, the organization served 2,640 meals. Regan said since January they’ve already served 661.

“We’ve been concerned about Raymondville for several years because poverty there is endemic as it is here in Cameron County and the rates of poverty are a little bit higher,” he said.

The decision to extend the services from two to four days came because the organization received more funds.

“We’ve gotten more funds in to help us with the Raymondville outreach and we’re starting to see more funds come from Raymondville itself, as well. So with these new funds, we think we can handle financially going four days instead of two days,” Reagan said.

He added he’s looking into other options for funding to grow their services.

For anyone living in Willacy County and are in need of a hot meal and/or medical services, Loaves and Fishes is located at Primera Iglesia Christiana on Rodriguez Street in Raymondville.

Meals will be served Monday through Thursday after 5 p.m. The organization also offers health checkups at the same location on Wednesday from 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.

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