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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Sharing is Caring

Brazos+Valley+Food+Bank
Photo by Courtesy
Brazos Valley Food Bank

This August 3, the Brazos Valley Food Bank will host its annual Feast of Caring for members of the Bryan-College Station community. The event will take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Brazos Center and is free to attend.

This will be the food bank’s 29th year hosting the event. Theresa Mangapora, executive director of the Brazos Valley Food Bank, said the expansive history of the event brings the community together.

“The idea is to serve a simple meal to the public,” Mangapora said. “We serve rice and beans, which some people would call a ‘poor man’s meal.’ It’s symbolic of what some of our neighbors may think is a feast. It’s a way to educate and engage the community in our work.”

Executive committee president and board member of the food bank, John Cowan, said that the feast provides a relaxed, upbeat atmosphere for all to enjoy.

“There is no specified seating,” Cowan said. “It’s long tables with chairs. You can sit with someone you know or a stranger. It’s everybody coming together to eat a meal and donate in support of those that are less fortunate or may not have a meal that day. It’s an opportunity for people to know and see what the food bank does.”

Volunteers and community leaders, including local politicians, city council members and officials, serve the meals and mingle with the crowd. Washington County Judge John Duurenberger is one of the confirmed community leaders attending the feast. 

A wide variety of age groups have attended the event in the last few years, including families, seniors, and even children from the local Boys and Girls club. Board member and head of marketing committee, Scott DeLucia, emphasized the importance of encouraging people of all ages to attend.

“Clubs get together to form fundraisers and form a sense of community,” DeLucia said. “This is what the food bank has done for so many years. We want to get younger demographics to attend so that this [event] becomes one of their traditions in the future.”

Texas A&M student groups make up 75% of the food bank’s weekly volunteers. Cowan said the food bank is grateful for the amount of help they have received from different university clubs and organizations. 

“Our organization relies heavily on the student population,” Cowan said. “Student groups are constantly coming and volunteering time, organizing donated and purchased food. The food bank’s relationship with A&M has been tremendous. The students are an integral part of what we do.”

There is an increasing need for donations as the food bank’s line has grown by 10% recently, mirroring the growth of inflation. Mangapora said that one out of every seven households in the Brazos Valley faces hunger.

“What [food insecurity] looks like is skipping meals or having meals that may not be well balanced,” Mangapora said. “I feel like some of our neighbors can’t catch a break. It has been a rough couple of years.” 

Despite this, there is a lot the food bank can do with one dollar, one can of food, anything one donates helps this organization provide for the food insecure. 

More information on the annual Feast of Caring can be found on Brazos Valley Food Bank’s website. Ways to get involved can be found here.

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