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Helping Center receives 18 tons of food and supplies through JustServe

The Helping Center of Marble Falls

Over 18 tons of food and supplies, including canned corn, diced tomatoes, and laundry detergent, were donated by JustServe to The Helping Center of Marble Falls on Sept. 27. Staff photo by Nathan Bush

More than 18 tons of food and supplies were donated to The Helping Center of Marble Falls on Sept. 27. Among the 36,452 pounds were cans of corn, diced tomatoes, and spaghetti sauce, peanut butter, and laundry detergent and soap.

The supplies were donated by JustServe, a nonprofit organization through The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that gives resources to charities and foundations across the country. The items were shipped in a semi-truck loaded with 24 pallets of household goods. 

The donation comes as supplies dwindled at the food pantry, said Sam Pearce, executive director of The Helping Center.

“You could almost see to the back wall,” he said, pointing at the now-full shelves. “Now, we’ve got our hands full with all this stuff.”

The items were delivered a day before scheduled, and JustServe specialist Bob Richards said he was lucky Pearce had the facilities to manage the massive logistical undertaking.

“It caught us all off guard,” Richards said. “I had all my people set up to help on Wednesday. We scrambled, and Sam Pearce, of course, said, ‘I don’t care, it’s here, we’re going to make this happen’ and got his people on it. It all came together beautifully.”

While about 90 percent of the donation was food, several pallets held hygiene products such as soap and detergent.

“To have a pallet of soap and detergent for washing clothes and dishes was something that was really important to (Pearce),” Richards said. “I was really amazed by that.”

Many of the supplies, including grains, peanut butter, and cereal, were manufactured at the Bishops’ Central Storehouse in Salt Lake City, Utah. The storehouse produces thousands of units of various foods to be distributed across the country.

“They keep bringing in food produced by the church or purchased by the church,” Richards said. “As the warehouse fills, they disburse food across the United States to communities in need.”

The Helping Center had an especially busy month in September with more than 100 new families coming to the pantry in need of food and supplies, Pearce said. The recent donation will go a long way toward helping those in need in the Highland Lakes.

Richards was taken aback by the level of appreciation from Pearce and his team of volunteers.

“When we do a donation of this magnitude, (Pearce) and his staff members are normally tearful,” Richards said. “There’s hugs, lots of them. We’re just so grateful to be with people with that type of gratitude. We all feel it.”

To volunteer with The Helping Center, visit its website or call 830-693-5689. 

For those in need, the center is located at 1016 Broadway in Marble Falls. Its hours are 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Monday-Friday as well as 5-7 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday.