Mini Food Pantries are now available at ATCOG and the Bowie County Health Center thanks to a Texas State Health Services grant.
The Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities grant allows the Paris-Lamar County Health District to set up the "Health 4 U mini food pantries" at several sites, including the ATCOG building and Bowie County Health Center in Texarkana and across Red River County.
The BRIC program guiding principles are supporting communities through capability- and capacity-building; encouraging and enabling innovation; promoting partnerships; enabling large projects; maintaining flexibility; and providing consistency, said Kayleigh Thurman, health educator with Paris/Lamar County Health District.
It is also part of an effort to increase the number of food banks and pantries in communities due to demand from COVID-19.
The grant provides for installation of the food pantries, recipe cards and a list of foods to encourage. However, it cannot fund food. Therefore, residents are encouraged to donate directly to the pantries.
The philosophy is "Take what you need; leave what you can," Thurman said.