Creating Men for Others through SJ Food Pantry
Regis Penn ’25
Every second Saturday monthly at the Lilly Field House, Strake Jesuit partners with the Houston Food bank to deliver groceries to members of the community. Student and parent volunteers deliver fresh produce and meats to over 100 families.
Around Houston the Food Bank has several distribution centers. Strake Jesuit is a major one serving the Sharpstown-Chinatown area.
This effort began about seven years ago as a way for “students to collaborate with the Dads Club to serve our immediate community,” said Theology teacher Dr. Mary DeBroeck, a leader of the distribution center. “We offer food to anyone willing to receive it.”
All students and parents are welcome to volunteer.
“We started with about 10 to 12 volunteers. Now we have close to 30 per month,” our distribution site leader, Mr. Reynold D’Souza, a member of our mathematics faculty and our community service coordinator, said.
After the food arrives in bulk packaging from the Houston Food Bank, volunteers pack and distribute the food.
“It’s nice to help the people in our area,” William Aguilar ‘25 said.
Although the school already serves over a hundred families through the pantry, there are aspirations to grow this service to the community.
“In the past it has continued during the summer, and we would like to do this in summer again,” said Dr. Debroek.
Besides offering the moral benefit of volunteering, the program can also help students towards graduation.
“This is also a great way for students to complete their service requirements,” Dr. Debroeck said. Students earn four hours of service that can go towards either NHS, or grade level service requirements.
“This is a great way to serve our immediate community, and for students to step up and be men for others,” Mr. D’Souza said.