History of the Program:
The Food Pantry program was started in 1984 by Fr. Peter Lyons, TOR, the pastor of Saint Andrew, in response to a growing parishioner need for emergency food supplies. It was originally operated out of the sacristy by Fr. Peter with two women assisting. Around 1986, Brother Ed Bennett was brought in as a dedicated resource for the Pantry, and it was restricted from all zip codes to just three zip codes: 76109, 76110, and 76115. He managed food pantry and volunteers, with food stored in the Pastoral Center kitchen and operations were out of the Church office. Simultaneously, this became inadequate and Brother Ed suffered health issues.
Pattie Watson came in part-time to organize the Pantry in 1990. She became full-time in 1991. Sixteen volunteers served about 30 client families per week plus parish families. The Food Pantry moved to the Community Center in early 1992. Additional full and part-time employees were hired in the following years until 2007 when the staff was reduced to one full-time employee: the Director. FPO now has 50 volunteers who serve over 250 families every month. Pattie continued to serve as Director of FPO until her retirement in February 2015.
Tom Stumpf was hired as Pattie's successor in 2015 to continue the work of FPO. He is currently working on updating FPO's tracking methods and introducing an inventory management system to monitor how much food FPO distributes.
What makes us Different from other food pantries?
Saint Andrew Catholic Parish's Food Pantry Outreach Ministry (FPO) is very different from many of the other food pantries in Tarrant County. We are "Client Choice" which means that everyone who comes through our doors for help gets to choose which food items they take home. Our "Menu" changes every week so every time they come in, we have something different.
FPO also differs from other food pantries in how often a family can receive food. At most pantries, a family can only get food once a month. FPO allows our families to come once every week. This means that the food we provide helps sustain our families throughout the month better than if they received food only once a month. "