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Organizations help feed needy

Motiva workers volunteer together to pack senior citizens boxes that will go out later this month.
Motiva workers volunteer together to pack senior citizens boxes that will go out later this month. UP photo by Rebecca Wallage

There are hungry people in this community, and there is more than one way to help.

“I just felt like this was a good place for me to help people here locally,” Jimmy Sparks, chief administrative officer at Southeast Texas Food Bank, said. “I’m a big believer that people in this country ought to have access to food."

According to Feeding Texas, the largest hunger relief organization in Texas, one in eight, or 4.2 million Texans struggle with making enough money to put food on the table every night. The Southeast Texas Food Bank serves eight counties in the area: Jefferson, Orange, Hardin, Jasper, Newton, Polk, Sabine, and Tyler counties.

“My favorite part of the job is helping people and seeing the smile on their face,” Sparks said. “Especially in the holiday times. We will be giving out turkeys this year.”

Megan Findley, youth director at Woodcrest Methodist Church, has a different perspective on how to bring awareness to the challenges people face in this world. Findley puts on a 30-hour famine event. The students in her youth group, junior high and senior high, get to face the challenges that people in third world countries face on a daily basis.

“Our kids now are spoiled, and I wanted them to realize that,” Findley said. “I started doing 30-hour famine 11 years ago because these kids need to realize how much they have.”

Findley plans to conduct another 30- hour famine later this year. She said a conversation with her students made her realize they take what they have for granted. Findley has not held one since 2019.

“We do not eat for 30 hours and have a lock-in at the church,” she said. “We wake up the kids and give them a challenge to do because in third world countries they do not get to sleep for 8 hours straight.”

Woodcrest also donates food to local clinics, such as Hope Women’s Resource Clinic in Beaumont and Christian Care Center in Silsbee.

The Wesley Foundation helps people on Lamar University’s campus. They have a food pantry that delivers food twice a month to households that need help that are registered through The Wesley Foundation.

“We have 323 households registered that come through every week,” administrative assistant Teri McGinnis said. “We put in an order to the Southeast Texas food bank every other week because we run out of food by the end of the second week.”

The food pantry serves not only registered people, but also students on Friday afternoons. The staff and volunteers of The Wesley Foundation pass out snack packs to ensure that no students go hungry.

Volunteers and donations are welcome at all the organizations.

Southeast Texas Food Bank is located near campus at 3845 S. MLK Jr Parkway. Visit

The Wesley Foundation is located on campus at 4590 Cheek St. in Beaumont. Visit

 Woodcrest Methodist Church is located at 1684 HWY 96 S in Lumberton. Visit

Category: News