Socorro ISD police sergeant starts food pantry in hopes of curbing student hunger

Putting an end to student hunger-- that's the mission of SISD police Sergeant Frank Del Toro, who recently started a districtwide food pantry.

The food pantry has only been operating at the SISD police services center since last month, but it's already seeing a steady stream of students who are in need of food.

From corn, to green beans, to mixed veggies-- Sgt. Del Toro, along with several colleagues and family members, pack bags of canned food, available 24/7 at the SISD police headquarters for district families in need.

He says he got the idea for the food pantry in December, when he realized student hunger extended beyond the yearly holiday food drives.

"Our main focus is the safety of the children of our school district. During these interactions with the kids, we do see the need of some of these children, who may not have enough at home," he said.

Escontrias Elementary School counselor Belinda Calderon sees the need for a program like this on the daily.

"[Kids will] hide food, their concentration is not on school because they're hungry, and you pick up on it right from the get go when they're having breakfast in the morning," she said.

That's what pushed her to start a food drive at the school in order to contribute to the food pantry.

Escontrias Elementary School is one of three schools in the district to have contributed to the food pantry since its inception.

Del Toro says about 2-3 students have shown up to the police headquarters each day to pick up a bag of canned goods.

Furthermore, he says that as more schools and families find out about the food pantry, they continue to donate more and more food to the cause.

It's all still a learning experience, but Sgt. Del Toro says he has big plans for the future of the food pantry.

"The hope for the future is to possibly get even a bigger food pantry with a variety of other things that we could offer," he said.

If you'd like to donate food, you can drop off canned food donations at the SISD police headquarters on 1180 Joe Battle Blvd. in Far East El Paso.

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