SISD Food Drive

Terri Hartman directs her team members as they prepare to load up a truck during the food drive on Friday, Jan. 31, 2020 at the SISD central office parking lot.

Former Seguin High School students quickly worked to pack cars with food as community members drove through a distribution line on Friday.

The district gave the local families food during its monthly food drive headed up by the Seguin Works Transition program, which teamed up with district employees and the San Antonio Food Bank.

“We’re just here for the community and helping them out,” 21-year-old Seguin Works Transition Program team member Ethan Hernandez said. “We’re doing this from the bottom of our hearts to help the people who need it the most.”

The transition program hosts members 18 and up who have graduated and are working to cultivate vocational skills for the future, Seguin Works Transition Program teacher Terri Hartman said.

“It just feels good helping the community and helping people who need food to take care of their families,” transition program team member Patrick Loera, 20, said.

Passing out food to those in need is just one of the ways the program helps the community, Hartman said.

“We work with animal services and nursing homes and do activities with them,” she said. “We also work with H-E-B and Walgreens, so we are all over the place. We are community-based, and this helps my students work towards whatever their goals are. We ask our students three things, ‘Where do you want to live? Do you want to get a job? Do you want to continue your education?’ So everyone’s goals are different.”

The food distributed throughout the morning included oranges, potatoes, rice, nuts and a protein, Hartman said.

“We serve up to 200 families, but when we say families, there’s members within those families, so we’ve served as many as 600 people,” she said. “We’re very happy to be doing it. It’s just one way to give back.”

While motorists awaited their food, they filled out application forms.

“The application forms don’t take much time. It’s just something the food bank requires that we do,” Hartman said. “It’s so that we can monitor the amount of people that we’re serving in the community. It’s all demographics.”

Gracie Soto, Seguin Works Transition Program job coach, said the food drive is a feat of coordination between program members who host the event on the last Friday of every month.

“Terri and I start off around 7 a.m., and she makes sure everyone gets all the tables set up, and then I start helping people with the application process,” Soto said. “When the food truck comes in, I join Terri, and she counts how many pallets are coming off the truck, and we divide it all up to make sure how much we are going to get. Then all the students start coming, and they’re the ones that really help physically to package everything up. There’s a lot that goes into all this behind the scenes, and Terri is the one that truly coordinates it all.”

The food drive is a great way to bring community members together, Soto said.

“Today went really well,” she said. “I love that we get to come out because we truly love what we do. I believe it supports our community and brings the community together. It also helps us get to know what our community needs and how we can fill those needs.”

The program’s next food drive is slated for Feb. 28 at the same location.

Joe Martin is a staff writer for the Seguin Gazette. You can e-mail him at joe.martin@seguingazette.com .

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