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Helping Center food pantry wins Nourishing Award

The Helping Center Executive Director Sam Pearce and volunteers

The Helping Center Executive Director Sam Pearce (center, right) was presented with The Nourishing Award by the Central Texas Food Bank on Aug. 11 for his organization’s dedication to feeding hungry families. He is pictured with the center’s Wednesday morning volunteer team. Courtesy photo

The Helping Center received The Nourishing Award from the Central Texas Food Bank during the Partner Agency Conference in Austin on Aug. 11. The Marble Falls-based nonprofit was one of four pantries recognized out of 260 food pantries in Central Texas.

Officials from the Central Texas Food Bank highlighted the Marble Falls food pantry’s dedication to ensuring residents can feed themselves and their families.

“This award represents the culmination of 36 years of service to the greater Marble Falls community,” The Helping Center Executive Director Sam Pearce said in a media release. “We were recognized as having demonstrated excellence in our food distribution model, for emphasizing the nutritional value of fresh fruits and vegetables, and for hosting community education initiatives.”

The state of Texas acknowledged the award with a formal resolution signed by state Sen. Pete Flores. Pearce was also presented with a Texas flag that once flew over the Capitol.

“We are deeply grateful for this recognition of our mission,” Pearce said.

Through July 2023, The Helping Center has served its client families nearly 13,000 times. The pantry has also provided roughly 370,000 pounds of food valued at more than $1 million. 

“Since we opened the new facility in 2021, we have experienced more than a three-fold increase in food assistance,” The Helping Center board President Paul King stated in the media release. “By providing food to those in need, we feed the hungry and help individuals and families to remain in their homes or apartments and to afford the basic necessities of life.”

The Highland Lakes nonprofit has also expanded its LEARN for LIFE educational program as the initiative enters its third year. It includes children’s literacy events, adult and youth nutrition programs, cooking demonstrations, financial literacy classes, health awareness events, and a scholarship program.

“We are humbled to receive this award, which clearly acknowledges the support of our churches, efforts of our volunteers, and generous donations provided by citizens, civic groups, and foundations,” King said.

Officials with The Helping Center invite interested groups to tour the pantry. Tours can be arranged by calling 830-693-5689. 

Donations may be mailed to P.O. Box 402, Marble Falls, TX 78654, or dropped off at the nonprofit’s office at 1016 Broadway.