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When Brenda Hardesty moved from Austin to Eldorado about 13 years ago, the former social worker didn’t know many people in the small town, about 45 miles south of San Angelo. But she eventually came to know Leigh Lloyd, the pastor at her church, First United Methodist, who worked with Hardesty to turn what was an emergency food closet in the church into a full-fledged pantry for those in need.
“Our community has a high rate of unemployment at various times and a high rate of poverty,” Hardesty said, adding that stable jobs and reliable child care can be hard to come by in the oilfield town. “So we have a lot of people getting by on very little income.”
The Eldorado Second Harvest Food Pantry provides monthly food distributions to more than 60 households, or about 130 people, in Schleicher County. Hardesty, a member of Southwest Texas Electric Cooperative, has coordinated food intake and distribution—the whole process—since the pantry began in August 2016. Lloyd has since moved to another church in another town, but Hardesty now has connections across the county.
“The people that hand out the boxes get a lot of joy from actually giving a box of food to somebody that needs it,” Hardesty said. “Seeing how many people in our community are willing to pitch in and help people in need is a fulfilling part to me—to see that a lot of people care in this community and are willing to back it up with some work.” Read more online on Facebook.