Polka Party for the Pantry

For those of us Texians who have been fortunate enough to provide food on our tables daily, there are over 4.3 million Texians (1 in 7) who do not have the means to feed themselves and/or their families. In the Brazosport area, one in four citizens within a five-miles radius of the Brazosport Cares Food Pantry faces food insecurity. They live with the threat of being hungry or having inconsistent access to enough nutritious food.

Some people think that if you need assistance in providing food, you must be lazy. That is simply not the case. A friend of this writer was on top of the world with his business. It burned to the ground, insurance didn’t replace his assets, he had bills and no work. Things got tough for him as he struggled to restart his life. Jobs were scarce. At times, he visited a local food pantry just to get cheese and crackers to make it through the day.

Slowly he rebuilt his life and occasionally visited the pantry when hunger dictated it. He now owns his own business, providing his services to the community, and credits food pantries for getting him through the tough times. There are others with medical and family issues which cut into food budgets severely. Some reasons for needing assistance are:

• A family or individual has experienced a total loss or drop in income due to unemployment, illness, or other unforeseen circumstances.

• Working families whose household income is insufficient to feed the household.

• Seniors and disabled individuals living on fixed incomes.

• The unemployable and homeless.

• Students who go home to little or meager meals on weekends.

The Brazosport Cares Food Pantry continues to lead the fight against hunger in the Brazosport community by operating a community supported food pantry and weekend backpack program for hungry students. Along with food assistance, the pantry provides referrals to other social service agencies to help address the physical, emotional, and social needs of residents. The pantry assists about 400 families each month.

In 2017, the Brazosport Cares Food Pantry served 302,000 nutritious meals, provided 28,000 pounds of fresh food, and provided 2,100 backpacks to students who would otherwise go home to meager or no meals. They achieved this and more with an income of $756,000, mostly in food and cash donations - 96 cents of every dollar received goes directly to feeding the community. The only government funding received is in the form of grants and is less that 1% of total income. This is neighbors helping neighbors through tough times. 2017 was also the year that Hurricane Harvey devastated the Texas Coast wreaking havoc on the area. The Pantry helped out by providing food and services for folks who lost housing and jobs.

The Brazosport Cares Food Pantry would like for you and your neighbors to mark Fri., July 13 on your calendar for an evening of food, dancing, and fellowship at the West Brazos Columbus Hall, 20632 N. Highway 36, Brazoria, Texas to raise funds for the Pantry. Music will be provided by Mollie B and Squeezebox.

"I am excited to return to Texas — no surprise there. But this will be the first time we will be involved in a fundraiser in Texas and it will be our first time in Brazoria," Mollie B said. "It’s always a treat meeting more Texas folks, which we are sure to do in this new location for us. Additionally, the history of this fundraiser goes back to Hurricane Harvey. My heart went out to all those affected by the storm. So, it is nice to know we will be helping Texas in our own musical way. See you soon!"

Squeezebox sells out venues in Central Texas almost instantly when their rare performances are announced. The evening kicks off at 5:30 pm with a dinner and drive-through plate supper being provided. This also marks the time when vocalist/musician/television personality and all around great human, Mollie B, begins a meet and greet session, signing autographs. You'll also get the chance to have your photograph taken with the recording star and entertainer.

The food lines shut down at 7 pm, with Mollie B and Squeezebox taking the stage for their publicly acclaimed show and dance for an hour. At 8 pm, a live auction begins and culminates with the silent auction winner being announced at 9 pm. At that time the dance resumes with Squeezebox performing for your pleasure.

Tickets for dinner and dance are only $20. Plates to go are $10 and just the dance is $10. Beer and setups are available, and the event is also BYOB. So round up your neighbors and reserve a table of 6 for only $150 for the dinner and dance. What a deal! Tickets and table reservations can be made at brazosportcares.org or by calling 979-239-1225.

Texas Polka News

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