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Papa’s Pantry accepting volunteers, donations

Jay Hinton
Glen Rose Reporter
Papa's Pantry at 753 Gibbs Blvd. is seeking food donations and volunteers to help with the upcoming holiday season.

GLEN ROSE — Preparations are underway at Papa’s Pantry to provide Thanksgiving meals for just fewer than 200 Somervell County families, and as always, food and financial donations are welcomed, and volunteers are embraced.

The COVID-19 pandemic forced more people to use Papa’s Pantry the last six months or so, but director Dwight Taylor, who took over earlier this year, said the community has stepped up.

“It put a strain on the pantry due to an increase in emergency food needs caused mainly by unemployment,” he said. “Thankfully, through the donations from the Somervell County community, we were able to respond.”

Taylor said Papa's Pantry saw an uptick for services again in August, and he is projecting 170-175 families (about 477-492 people) will have food needs during the holiday season.

“Our mission statement is ‘to feed the hungry of Somervell County,’ and all of us consider it an honor and privilege be a part of this endeavor,” he said.

In addition to turkeys, Papa’s Pantry is filling Thanksgiving boxes with canned yams; canned pumpkin; cream of mushroom soup; cranberry sauce; French fried onions; chicken broth; and marshmallows.

“We have more food items going in our boxes of which we have an adequate supply in-house or guaranteed by a donor,” Taylor said.

In addition to the items for Thanksgiving, the pantry is in need of cereal; chili with beans; Chunky soups; canned pinto beans; potato flakes; jelly; peanut butter; and cream-style corn.

Food or monetary donations can be brought to the pantry during normal business operating hours or food can be left in a bench seat box on the front porch when the pantry is closed. Donations can also be mailed or gifted through the website or PayPal.

The pantry is also in need of a few more volunteers due to the coronavirus. Those seeking to help can contact the pantry or stop by during business hours to find out more information.

“Without our volunteers, we could not operate,” Taylor said. “They are the backbone of our accomplishing our mission. All have giving hearts and a fervent desire to help those in need and this is greatly evidenced in their work.”

The pantry is located at 753 Gibbs Blvd. in Glen Rose, and it’s open every Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3-6 p.m. Taylor can also be reached at (682) 936-5663 or by email at foodbanksomervellcounty@gmail.com.

“I assumed the position in March of this year, and it has proven to be a challenging and rewarding experience,” he said. “It is challenging due to the constant effort to locate and acquire food items while maintaining a first-in, first-out inventory. It is rewarding when you have the pleasure of interacting with the persons that need our help.”