Edinburg unites to distribute 1,000 turkeys to needy familiesdfwnewsa | November 20, 2023 | 0 | East Texas News , South Texas News
EDINBURG — A refrigerated H-E-B semi-truck was parked outside the city of Edinburg Parks & Recreation Department building here on Mark S. Peña Drive with black and green reusable shopping bags.
Inside the building, hundreds of bags lined the hallways and filled rooms as dozens of volunteers and city employees gathered inside the gymnasium for a brief ceremony ahead of the 12th Annual “Edinburg Cares” Food Drive Monday morning.
Edinburg Parks & Recreation Assistant Director Eric Molina emceed the ceremony and shared some opening remarks about the annual event.
“When I think of Thanksgiving, at any point in the year, I think of the Monday before Thanksgiving,” Molina said. “I think of all the community coming together like this and seeing how beautiful and special it is.”
Molina said that he began participating in the annual food drive before he became a city employee.
“This is my favorite part of the entire year,” he added. “The unity of the community — to me, there’s no better way to do it.”
The city of Edinburg partnered with Edinburg CISD and H-E-B to distribute 1,000 turkeys and 1,500 bags filled with canned food and other non-perishables to pre-selected families from throughout the community.
“The school district pre-determines families that are needy,” Edinburg Parks & Recreation Director Javier Garza. “They give us all the names. We fundraise and budget with the city of Edinburg a certain amount of money.”
Garza said that a good portion of the food that was distributed came from donations collected from food baskets at all the Edinburg CISD schools and throughout the city. He said that nearly $13,000 was raised to help fund the food drive.
“Not everybody has a sit-down dinner. They just don’t have the means for it,” Garza said. “Our city wants to give back to them, wants to make sure that they are included in Thanksgiving and celebrate with family and friends and just have a great time.”
Mayor Ramiro Garza was the city manager when the “Edinburg Cares” Food Drive began. He said that the event is a great way to bring the community together just ahead of the holidays.
“It makes me proud of our community because that’s what our community is all about,” the mayor said. “This here demonstrates or reflects what our community is all about. You see people here from everywhere who are here to give back. I look forward to this every year. It’s one of my favorite events of the whole year.”
Following the brief ceremony, the bags were loaded into vehicles lined up along Mark S. Peña Drive. The vehicles were then dispatched to schools and neighborhoods throughout the community where the food was distributed.
One of those vehicles went to Travis Elementary School with food for 15 pre-selected families. Marisol Castro was the first to arrive to pick up a turkey and a bag of food with her son and daughter.
She said that she was surprised but grateful to learn that she had been selected to receive the food.
“I was surprised because I didn’t know that I was gonna get something for Thanksgiving,” Castro said. “I’m grateful that I’m receiving this. It helps a lot.”
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