PHARR, Texas – The Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley, Inc., has received a donation of $8,400 from the India Association of the Rio Grande Valley. 

Hari Namboodiri, president of the group said IARGV launched their “Stop Hunger” campaign in June and extended it through July to provide as many meals possible to families in need amid the global pandemic of COVID-19.

“India Association of RGV is always at the forefront of helping humanity. We are thrilled to partner with the Food Bank RGV in their effort to stop hunger. We will continue our endeavors to be a humble part of the socio-economic and cultural development of the RGV,” Namboodiri told The Rio Grande Guardian.

Namboodiri said the IARGV’s gift to the Food Bank RGV’s “Resource Readiness and Response” campaign will provide up to 42,000 meals to residents across Cameron, Hidalgo, and Willacy counties. 

Stuart Haniff CEO of Food Bank RGV said the number of people served throughout the entire network has more than double to 127,308 people every week.

Haniff said donations received enable the food bank to continue to effectively and efficiently respond to the rapid and growing needs of our community by providing immediate support while continuing to reinforce its network of 275 partner agencies with food to serve the community and through its own on-site Drive-Thru Emergency Pantry (DTEP). 

He pointed out that the Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley, Inc. was incorporated in 1986 and has grown to be the largest charity in south Texas based on clients served.  

“In fiscal year 2019, over 40 million pounds of food and fresh produce were distributed to Cameron, Hidalgo, and Willacy counties and the Feeding America network of food banks.”

During normal, non-pandemic times, up to 146,000 people in the Valley experience food insecurity.

Moderate damage

Haniff said the Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley sustained moderate damage due to the impact of Hurricane Hanna. The Food Bank RGV was without electricity, telephone, or internet services for more than three days, including one working day, Monday, July 27.

Despite these temporary setbacks, Haniff said, Food Bank RGV is already mobilizing to work with local disaster partners in coordination of relief efforts.

He said Food Bank RGV has received a generous donation of water from H-E-B that will provide direct support to our food bank partner agencies and the families they serve, impacted by the hurricane. 

Haniff pointed out Food Bank RGV is the largest non-religious charity of South Texas and the leading provider of food, water, and supplies for the community, especially during times of disaster, when resources are even more critical.

“Our Valley has been impacted by Hurricane Hanna and your Food Bank RGV stands ready and able to support our neighbors in need,” Haniff said.

“For 35 years, we have overcome disasters and crises and this will be no different. We will get through this together and be better and stronger than ever before.”

Haniff said Food Bank RGV has launched its ‘Help for Hanna’ campaign to offer immediate relief to families in need and experiencing hardship from the recent storm. 

“Every dollar donated will provide direct support in the three county territory that we service,” Haniff promised.

Haniff added that a Drive Thru Emergency Panty (DTEP) distribution takes place on Wednesdays from 7:00am to 10:00am, or until capacity is reached at the Food Bank RGV, located at 724 N. Cage Blvd. in Pharr.

There is a limit of 2 families (2 people) per car to receive assistance. ID and proof of address are required. All vehicle occupants must wear face coverings and car trunks must be empty. Distribution is open to all in need of food assistance and is first come, first served.

Editor’s Note: To sponsor a Drive-Thru Emergency Pantry distribution, please contact Philip Farias, Manager of Corporate Engagement and Special events, at (956)-904-4513 or by email at [email protected]. Supporters may visit to make an online donation anytime. To make a donation to the Food Bank RGV, visit or text ‘HelpRGV’ to 44-321. Check the Food Bank RGV’s website and social media for updates. 

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