RGV Food Bank Works to Provide Woman in Need
WESLACO – A woman claimed she was denied assistance at the Rio Grande Valley Food Bank.
The RGV Food Bank serves 42,000 people on a weekly basis. They do their best to feed everyone that comes through their doors.
Alicia Loredo was born and raised in Weslaco. In 2001, a car collision left her disabled and she has learned to live with the challenge.
Living on a tight budget drove her to ask for food at the RGV Food Bank.
"Not everybody gets the liberty. I used to work hard in the fields, and you know, I used to work and it's not my fault that I was disabled. I was in a car accident and this how disability happened to me,” said Loredo.
Loredo explained her only livelihood is from her disability check. She said she walked in to the RGV Food Bank and was denied food.
"That I didn't qualify because I was just like 49-years-old and I said, ‘When can I?’ When I turn 65 or 67 that's when I qualify for food benefits,” she said.
The RGV Food Bank communications and advocacy manager Omar Rodriguez said Loredo probably applied for the Commodity Supplemental Food Program for senior citizens.
"So you need to meet requirements and those requirements is that you need to be 60 years of age or older, reside here in Hidalgo, Cameron or Willacy counties and also be low income,” said Rodriguez.
Rodriguez said she should not have left the food bank empty handed.
"If she was denied that program because of the federal guidelines, she was more than welcome to use the emergency pantry we have here,” said Rodriguez.
The RGV Food Bank allows anyone who is low income to gather up to 40 pounds of food from their pantry.
"Again, it was probably a miscommunication and if she could just reach out to us again that way we can go ahead make sure that she has access to food. That she's never in need again,” said Rodriguez.
Rodriguez said if Loredo can't drive to the food bank in Pharr, they can work on bringing her what she needs.
“Actually, call us so that we can refer you to a pantry close by to where she lives. I understand she doesn't live here in Pharr, but transportation is a big issue for a lot of clients. So if they give us a call we can make arrangements to get her food immediately,” said Rodriguez.
Loredo wants communication to be improved and others to be educated by her experience.