The Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley, Inc. was founded in 1983 by Reverend Ted and Martha Knies at Trinity Episcopal Church in Pharr, Texas.
The Valley had just been devastated by a freeze and the Knies took it upon themselves to help those affected by this agricultural blow.
At its inception, it was called the Pharr Area Food Pantry and directly served those living in Pharr and surrounding areas. In 1986, the pantry was incorporated to become the Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley, Inc. this way it could serve as a clearinghouse for smaller food pantries and on-site feeding organizations. The Food Bank of the RGV is a champion to those organizations who focus on making food accessible to the Valley including supporting child feeding sites at Boys and Girls Clubs through the Kids Cafe program, Operation Kid Pack and Ronald McDonald Charities. Making food accessible for seniors and postpartum women and children is also a priority through the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CFSP).
Today, the Food Bank has grown to become the 36th largest in the nation and 5th largest in Texas based on distribution. We are proudly affiliated with Feeding America and the Texas Food Bank Network. The Food Bank serves Hidalgo, Willacy and Cameron Counties.
The service area for the Food Bank is comprised of Hidalgo, Willacy and Cameron Counties.
In 2011, over 1 million individuals were fed through our various programs, for a total amount of 31 million pounds of non-perishable, frozen and fresh food distributed through over 200 agencies (churches, shelters, etc.).
The Food Bank of the RGV also has other programs like the Texas Second Chance Program that enables Lopez State Prison low-risk trustees to earn valuable job skills and experience while saving on our labor costs (an estimated $200,000 in 2007). Trustees pick and palletize food orders for our agencies. Please, explore our website to learn more about our other programs.