By Chris Edwards
WOODVILLE – A local faith-based food pantry is looking for donations to help provide for those in the area who might need a helping hand.
Heavenly Blessings Food Pantry, which is based out of Colmesneil, will be the beneficiary of an upcoming food drive in the parking lot of Brookshire Bros. in Woodville, on Saturday, July 30, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The event is sponsored by the Southeast Texas Food Bank, and all donations received will go to Heavenly Blessings.
The work of Heavenly Blessings has benefitted Tyler County since 2019, when Bro. Bill Massey, and a crew of volunteers, began distributing produce in front of the City Hall building in Colmesneil.
The donations the group received came from the Southeast Texas Food Bank, based out of Beaumont, and according to Massey, in 2020, with the pandemic setting in, the availability of produce slowed down.
“We partnered with the SETX Food Bank and officially opened a pantry in 2020,” Massey said. “We purchase food items for 16 cents per pound from (the food bank).”
The pantry is located at Massey’s church, Tejas Road Baptist Church, in Colmesneil. Before the produce distribution and the food pantry, Massey was called to outreach by way of “blessing boxes,” which he and his brother-in-law, along with Raymond Baker, built, and placed in Colmesneil. One of them is in front of City Hall and the other at the church. The boxes, vertical wooden cabinets, encourage anyone who might be down on their luck to “Take what you need, give when you can.”
Heavenly Blessings has been able to provide dairy items, as well as a variety of produce items, fruits, rice, pastas and other foodstuffs, and even limited amounts of frozen items.
Massey said the outreach ministry serves more than 100 families each month from Doucette, Rocky Springs, Rockland and Colmesneil. Heavenly Blessings distributes its food boxes on the second and fourth Fridays of each month, and uses a small base of volunteers, eight to 10 people, whom Massey said generously donate their time to work, based on their availability.
Massey said the group currently receives small monetary donations from three different churches in Colmesneil and Woodville, as well as occasional donations from various residents.
For volunteering opportunities or to make a donation, Massey can be reached by phone at 409-429-8639. Teri Haddad, who serves as the assistant director for Heavenly Blessings, can be reached at 713-907-7494.