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JARED FIELDS • PICAYUNE STAFF

GRANITE SHOALS — Roy and Mary Lou Guerrero needed a vehicle to carry more people and supplies to minister to the homeless in Austin.

When they found a shuttle bus for the right price, they took a trip.

To Cleveland.

“It was an awesome opportunity to go. My wife and I flew over and got to visit an area we had not been to, ever,” said Roy Guerrero, who runs Joseph’s Food Pantry with his wife in Granite Shoals.

The couple flew to Cleveland on Dec. 17 to pick up their new bus, which seats 6-8 people and is equipped to carry a person in a wheelchair.

For about three years, the Guerreros and the pantry have performed an outreach ministry to the homeless in Austin by providing clothing, food and other items.

Roy Guerrero said up to 15 people will make the Austin trip each month. The extra bus helps the ministry carry more people and supplies.

The next outreach is Feb. 15. It will be the first time the new bus makes the Austin trip.

Guerrero said the so-called “Church Under the Bridge” serves at least 200 people.

Joseph’s Food Pantry distributes food to area families each Tuesday and also takes donations for Church Under the Bridge.

“Backpacks, clothing, coats, jackets, gloves, underwear — anything useful for the folks out there on the streets to help them stay warm,” Guerrero said of needed items.

Backpacks, he said, are one of the most sought-after items.

“It’s like they’re carrying their home; they carry everything in backpacks,” he said.

The pantry is always in need of volunteers from 2-5 p.m. Tuesdays.

“Typically, we’re needing help to carry groceries for the folks to their vehicles,” Guerrero said. “On average they take a H-E-B shopping cart full of groceries with them to their vehicles. There are a lot of elderly people that come and partake of the blessings.”

To find out more about Joseph’s Food Pantry, or to volunteer, visit its website at www.josephsfoodpantry.com or call (830) 220-2344.

jared@thepicayune.com