Nov 09 2018

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A match made in heaven: Church opens its doors to food pantry

After 29 years of being located at the Castillo building on East Stenger Street, the San Benito Food Pantry has relocated to Living Stone Family Church.
The move came after Castillo Building owner Elia Castillo received numerous complaints from other renters about the pantry regarding  horrendous odors and the presence of critters throughout the building originating from the pantry side, urging pantry officials to consider moving. This, along with other issues, enabled food pantry officials to relocate.
Forest Walker, food pantry president, said that through word of mouth were they able to find a new place to host the pantry. She said a pantry volunteer, who also attends Living Stone, mentioned to Pastor Ernest Garcia that the pantry was looking to move. She then said she and the pastor spoke, leaving the idea to simmer.
“Our board approved it unanimously. They thought ‘community’ is one of strongest points the church should be involved in. So, it was a no brainer,” said Garcia in regard to the approval of the allowing the pantry at the church.
“I feel very, very blessed,” said Walker. “There were nights I laid in bed crying and praying because I didn’t know where we were going to move.”
The facility the pantry is taking up is the church’s old sanctuary, which was intended to be used for different projects, but Garcia said the church hadn’t reached a status to where it could conduct such affairs yet. The next best thing to do, he said, was to open it to community use.
The new location, said Walker, is wonderful as it is located right off the frontage road, which she hopes will help efforts to expand outreach.
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Permanent link to this article: https://www.sbnewspaper.com/2018/11/09/a-match-made-in-heaven-church-opens-its-doors-to-food-pantry/

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