What was started by a couple of concerned parents who wanted to help the residents of Meadowbrook, New Danville’s residential community, have access to household goods has grown, and grown some more. The assistance began in 2011 and the past ten years have shown ongoing development of an important service—a pantry known as the General Store.
After several years of being supported by parents, the TLC Food Pantry in Willis stepped up to help stock the pantry with food products to complement the household items the pantry maintained, according to Jennifer Mauboules who oversees the pantry among her various roles at New Danville. Twelve Sunday School classes from Crossroads Baptist Church in The Woodlands provide non-food items, each class covering one month of the year. A Sunday School class at First Baptist Church in The Woodlands provides items in November and December, or whenever it is needed.
Early in 2021, the pantry moved to The Cabin, one of our original buildings. It currently serves as a classroom on one side and the pantry on the other. About that time, Keep US Fed of Montgomery County became a partner and introduced Jennifer to Kroger. “Because of that relationship,” she said, “we’ll soon partner with the Montgomery County Food Bank, too. With the help of Keep US Fed we’ve been able to add food products to our inventory, too. Occasionally we get fresh vegetables donated or from our gardening class.”
Colt and Marlon, residents of Meadowbrook, like to help on the trips to get donations, as well as load and stock items into the pantry. While Colt likes ordering his groceries from Kroger and having them delivered to his home, he understands how important it is for the pantry to serve other residents. “It is good that we have the pantry. There are always long lines when we open,” he said. Tuesdays are pantry days. Marlon concurred, “A lot of people come.”
Of the 34 residents, 25 utilize the pantry, according to Jennifer. “The others have other means of assistance, but anyone who lives here can utilize the pantry,” she said.
The pantry is also on the radar of the New Danville’s Job Readiness and Support Program. President and CEO Eva Aguirre said, “Our goal is to employ a couple of our clients to manage the pantry. We are close to being at that stage of development.”