Tag Archive | "San Antonio Food Bank"

BBQ, SA Food Bank Benefit, Music at the County Line

County Line spread 1

The popular Thirsty Horse Saloon 2013 Live Music Series at The County Line concerts, which benefit the San Antonio Food Bank, are going on every Wednesday though July 31 from 6:30 – 10 p.m.

The location is the County Line restaurant at 10101 I-10 W. (between Wurzbach and Huebner roads, near the Colonnade).

Over the years, the concert series has raised more than 610,000 pounds of food for Food Bank. Plus, this year, they are also selling CDs featuring music from the series. Proceeds from these sales also benefit the Food Bank.

Now in its 13th year, the music series has featured some of the best Texas and national country musicians, such as Blake Shelton, Bart Crow Band, Kyle Park, Gary P. Nunn, Cory Morrow, Stoney LaRue, Randy Rogers, Jason Boland, Roger Creager, Wade Bowen, Pat Green, Aaron Watson, Radney Foster, Kevin Fowler, Bleu Edmondson, The Rick Cavender Band and many more.

A new feature this season is an after-party (also with live music) at the Thirsty Horse Saloon immediately following each concert. The saloon is at 2335 NW Military Highway.

Bart Crow Band

Bart Crow Band

These performers are booked as of June 14,  with the headliners listed first, followed by the opening acts:

The live music series is free; however, all who attend are asked to make a food or monetary donation to the San Antonio Food Bank. Last year’s music series alone raised more than 114,300 pounds of food for the Food Bank.

“County Line BBQ is an integral partner in our mission to fight hunger,” said Eric Cooper, San Antonio Food Bank president and CEO. “The 2012 Music Series collected enough donated food and money to provide 114,000 much-needed meals last summer. The rising cost of groceries coupled with the ongoing drought is impacting our community, and families are struggling to put food on the table. We look forward to fighting hunger and feeding hope with the County Line and its patrons this summer.”

County Line Thirsty Horse imageHeld on the restaurant’s open-air patio, the opening act comes on at 6:30 p.m.; the headliner plays from 8 – 10 p.m. Concerts are rain or shine. Drink specials run from 3 to 7 p.m. on concert days in the bar and outside in the concert area.

Sponsors thus far include Bud Light, Comfort Air/Primo Plumbing, Dulce Vida Organic Tequila, Enchanted Rock Vodka, KJ 97, Ozarka, Pure Party Ice, Rebecca Creek Whiskey, Red Bull and U.S. Disposal.

The County Line folks have thought of another way to bring this excellent music to Texas music fans — and help the Food Bank even more:  They have produced a compilation CD of songs performed at their concerts by some of their most popular artists (all but two were actually recorded at the concerts on County Line’s patio during the 2012 music series).  Proceeds from the CD sales benefit the San Antonio Food Bank, and are now on sale at both County Line restaurants in San Antonio (IH-10 in the Colonnade and on the Riverwalk) for $8.

Follow the County Line on I-10 on Facebook for updates on all of the restaurant’s music events, Pitmaster cooking classes and other specials at County Line.   Call 210-641-1998 for more information.

The County Line continually updates the concert line-up on its website. 



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Fine Swine, Cold Beer and a Prelude of Summer in One Event

Members of the the Art Institute of San Antonio prepare a paella for guests of the second Fine Swine Cook-off.

Members of the the Art Institute of San Antonio prepare a paella for guests of the second Fine Swine Cook-off.

FLORESVILLE — The temperatures hit new heights for the year Sunday and the sun was somewhat unforgiving at the South Texas Heritage Pork farm as three culinary schools prepared pigs for the second annual Fine Swine Cook-Off and Flavor Fest.

Guests line up for lettuce cups filled with pork and rice.

Guests line up for lettuce cups filled with pork and rice.

But withstanding the heat of the kitchen — even an outdoor kitchen — is something all chefs-in-training learn how to handle, so there were few grumbles, though most welcomed the shade of their tents while they cooked away.

The teams from the Art Institute of San Antonio, the Culinary Institute of America and the San Antonio Food Bank were all trying to be the most creative with every last bit of meat found on the pig. So, the ear might be fried and used as a garnish on a salad. Or the heart could be turned into jerky (see recipe below). One group even bottled its own … mmm … Bacon Soda.

These dishes were all for the judges. Meanwhile, the rest of the guests treated themselves to an assortment of treats available in another competition. A group of chefs from Corpus Christi offered a seafood sampling that included an oyster on the half shell with a lemon grass and horseradish gelée, shrimp headcheese, shrimp shell stock with lemon foam and shrimp sausage. Where Y’at’s Pieter Sypesteyn served crispy pork boudin balls and steaming hot bowls of goat and hominy gumbo, while Brandon McKelvey of Say.She.Ate fried chicken in duck fat. James Canter, who won last week’s Paella Challenge, showcased quail in an oyster kimchee sauce with watermelon radish.

Local beers from Ranger Creek, Alamo, Guadalupe and Saint Arnold were on tap, while Pedernales Cellars wines were available.

Cutting up every bit of pork flavor.

Cutting up every bit of pork flavor.

In the end, the judges’ panel gave top pork prize to the Art Institute while their favorite of the open contest from the rest of the chefs on hand went to the team from the Corpus Christi area, which included Paul Morales, Audie Morris and David Graham. (This was a second win for Morales, who was part of the award-winning pork team from last year, also the Art Institute.) The people’s choice award went to the team from the Texas Cooks Co-op. (The judges’ panel included celebrity chef John Besh as well as local chefs Steven McHugh, Michael Sohocki, David Gilbert and John Russ among others.)

But the real winners were those who got to sample these local foods, whether it was the pork at center stage, the goat, the chicken or the quail. All of it came from Texas, if not specifically from the region south of San Antonio where South Texas Heritage is located. It had to be prepared on site, but it also had to be humanely raised, which also means healthier for those eating the food.

Pig Heart Jerky

Brian West of the CIA bastes a fresh ham.

Brian West of the CIA bastes a fresh ham.

1 pig heart
3 1/2 ounces soy sauce
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon granulated onion
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon red chile flakes6 ounces crushed black peppercorns or red chile flakes (optional)

Pat dry the heart and remove all fat and veins from the heart. Cut into thin slices, approximately 1/4 inch thick. Mix soy sauce, liquid smoke, granulated garlic, Worcestershire sauce, granulated onion, 1 teaspoon black pepper and 1 teaspoon red chile flakes together in a zip-lock bag. Add the heart slices and marinate for 24 hours. Flip the bag over every 5 hours or so to get even distribution of the marinade.

Remove the heart slices from the marinade and pat extremely dry. If you want a more peppered jerky, roll the slices in crush black peppercorns or red chile pepper flakes.

Lay out the pieces in an even layer on a food dehydrator. The slices are done when they shrunken 30 percent to 40 percent and are dry but pliable.

From the Art Institute of San Antonio


A member of the Art Institute's team prepares to serve the judges.

A member of the Art Institute’s team prepares to serve the judges.

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Whataburger Helps SA Food Bank to Tune of $25K

Whataburger announced Friday its sponsorship of SA Goes Orange, a San Antonio Food Bank campaign designed to encourage everyone across southwest Texas to “Go Orange” and take action to fight hunger during September, Hunger Action Month.

During today’s press conference at the Food Bank, Whataburger Regional Director of Operations Bobby Pemelton, presented Food Bank representatives with $25,000 to help fund the management and distribution of food to the area’s most needy families and individuals.

Whataburger donation will help the San Antonio Food Bank feed hungry local kids.

“In support of Hunger Action Month, Whataburger employees will volunteer their time and resources to help feed the hungry in our community,” said Pemelton. “We are excited to join the Food Bank’s fight against hunger and help raise awareness of this issue in San Antonio and across southwest Texas.”

This is the third year Whataburger has sponsored the SA Goes Orange campaign. In 2011, Whataburger’s monetary contributions and volunteer efforts supported more than 157,000 meals to area children, seniors, individuals and families in need.

For this year’s campaign, Whataburger will host an internal food drive for employees to donate kid-friendly and ready-to-eat snack items to the Food Bank’s BackPack Program during the month of September. The company’s food drive will wrap up Friday, Sept. 21 with Whataburger volunteers packing food donations into backpacks to be distributed throughout the school year to children who are at risk of going hungry over a weekend or holiday. Additionally, Whataburger employees and their families will volunteer their time at the Food Bank on Saturday, Sept. 8 to work in the warehouse and garden.

“The San Antonio Food Bank relies on the continued support of generous companies like Whataburger to serve the individuals and families in our area who count on the Food Bank,” said Eric Cooper, president and CEO of the San Antonio Food Bank. “With Whataburger’s support and sponsorship of SA Goes Orange, we are able to bring attention to a critical need in our community and feed hundreds of thousands of Texans.”

According to the Food Bank, nearly one out of every four children and one out of every five adults in southwest Texas lives in poverty and has difficulty meeting basic nutritional needs.


The San Antonio Food Bank is a 501 c 3 non-profit organization providing millions of pounds of food to over 450 charitable organizations in Southwest Texas serving those in need.  In addition to food distribution, the San Antonio Food Bank provides numerous programs that not only solve the immediate problems of hunger, but help individuals and families gain long-term food security.  For more information about the San Antonio Food Bank, visit our website Find us on Facebook at or follow our news on Twitter at 


Whataburger is headquartered in San Antonio, with more than 735 locations in 10 states with sales of more than $1 billion annually. Visit for more information on the company or become a fan on Facebook at


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In Sept., Go Orange, Help the SA Food Bank End Hunger

Poster art courtesy San Antonio Food Bank. These items top the list of foods needed to be donated, stocked and distributed.

More than 230,000 people in Southwest Texas rely on the Food Bank’s network of programs and services— and over one-half million Southwest Texans are at risk of going hungry.

Now, the San Antonio Food Bank, in partnership with Whataburger, presents the SA Goes Orange campaign, offering your company the opportunity to make a difference.

Launching on September 1, 2012, and continuing throughout the month, SA Goes Orange engages San Antonians in public awareness and fundraising activities that will ultimately help the Food Bank end hunger in Southwest Texas.

Remember, orange is the color of hunger awareness.

As the major supplier of food for the hungry in Southwest Texas, the San Antonio Food Bank helps provide food for about 58,000 individuals each week through a network of more than 530 partner agencies within a 16-county service area. Every dollar donated, every SA Goes Orange campaign button worn and every means of public outreach helps our bottom line: to fight hunger and feed hope in Southwest Texas.

The SA Goes Orange campaign offers your company a unique opportunity to make a difference in the lives of families and individuals in need in our community, while increasing your own brand awareness and product exposure. The goodwill generated by cause-related marketing translates into a significant return on investment in the San Antonio market. Your employees and your customers will also take pride in knowing that each dollar collected during this campaign allows the Food Bank to distribute up to seven meals.

How can you join the San Antonio Food Bank and Whataburger in going orange?Here are a few ways to help:

• Become a campaign sponsor and be listed in all campaign marketing and advertising.

• Donate proceeds from product sales or an event.

• Join city landmarks like the Tower of the Americas and the Quarry Market, and literally light up the sky orange – the color of hunger awareness.

• Provide ad space, retail space — any space — to help raise public consciousness about hunger in Southwest Texas.

• Tell a friend — enlist employees, customers, friends and family.

• Hold a company-wide Go Orange Virtual Food Drive — the donation is virtual, but the help is real!

• Run your own unique internal fundraiser — how about Wear Orange to Work day?

The possibilities to Go Orange are limitless … so is the impact that you can make toward ending hunger.

For more information, contact Katie Ramsey, Director of Community Investments, at or 210.431.8312

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San Antonio Plans Its First Food Policy Conference

Are you concerned about the food that you eat? The quality? Where it comes from? How it is produced?

Do you know where your food is grown? And how?

Then you may want to attend the first food policy conference in San Antonio on May 10-11. It is being sponsored by the Food Policy Council of San Antonio in partnership with the Community Food Security Coalition, and organizers are hoping to make it an annual event.

The conference’s aims are to educate, organize, mobilize and support local community efforts in order to better manage the local food system, according to press information.

Keynote speaker is author Mark Winne, who will appear along with national, state and local policymakers, nonprofit leaders, researchers, health planners, farmers, local producers and other experts in the area of food and nutrition. Events will include a tour of the Spurs Community Garden at the San Antonio Food Bank as well as presentation from chef Michael Sohocki of Restaurant Gwendolyn.

Educational and skill-building workshops, a reception featuring local food and beverages, as well as ample opportunities to network with food policy professionals and advocates will all be included.

The conference registration fee for both days is $60; however, a Community Putting Prevention to Work grant is underwriting the cost for the first 200 registrants.

For more information, including an agenda of events, visit


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County Line Music Series Strikes a Welcome Note on Wednesdays

Kyle Park

The County Line, 10101 I-10 W., has resumed its popular music series on Wednesday nights. The

Now in its 12th year, the series has featured some of the best Texas and national country musicians.

All of the shows are free, but those who attend are asked to bring donation of either food or money for the San Antonio Food Bank. Since it started, the series has raised more than a half million pounds of food, with last year’s series alone bringing in more than 50,025 pounds.

This year’s lineup includes:

  • March 28 – Hudson Moore with Jonathan Garcia Band
  • April 4 – Stoney LaRue (solo acoustic) with James Delgado
  • April 11 – Two Tons of Steel with Rockn H. Band
  • April 18 – Cody Johnson with Jeffery Charle
  • April 25 – Cody & Willie Braun of Reckless Kelly with James Pardo
  • May 2 – Roger Creager with John David Kent
  • May 9 – Charlie Robison
  • May 16 – TBD
  • May 23 – Kyle Park with Bri Bagwell
  • May 30 – TBD

    Roger Creager

  • June 6 – Jason Boland & The Stragglers with James Delgado
  • June 13 – Brandon Rhyder with Jonathan Garcia Band
  • June 20 – Bart Crow Band
  • June 27 – Dirty River Boys with Kyle Reed
  • July 11 – Whiskey Myers
  • Aug. 15 – Cory Morrow

Held on the restaurant’s open-air patio, the concerts feature an opening act at 6:30 p.m. with the headliner playing from 8 to 10 p.m. Drink specials run from 3 to 7 p.m. on concert days. Concerts are held rain or shine.

“We are excited and extremely grateful to have this continued partnership with County Line BBQ again this year,” says Eric Cooper, San Antonio Food Bank President and CEO. “Over the past 11 years, this effort has collected more than 50,047 pounds of food that has gone to help feed thousands of hungry individuals in Southwest Texas.”

The County Line continually updates the concert line-up on its website. Click here for details.

Call (210) 641-1998 for more information.


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Learn How to Serve Tasty, Healthful Dinners for $5

Erin Chase

Erin Chase doesn’t see a need to throw away money on dinner. She’s not against food, mind you. She just believes in budgeting wisely and shopping even smarter when it’s time to set food on the table each evening.

Her thrifty ways led to a successful blog, $5 Dinners, as well as two cookbooks that spread the news of how to eat well but not too expensively. She’s bringing that message to San Antonio on March 30 for a workshop that’s been scheduled for the Alamo Heights United Methodist Church, 825 E. Basse Road.

The workshop will run from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. and costs just $5 plus a canned good to attend, with both going to the San Antonio Food Bank.

The visit is a homecoming for Chase, who grew up in San Antonio and has plans to move here again in the near future.

Right now, she lives in Dayton, Ohio, where she has gained fame for her frugal approach to food, whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner. Her approach is based on three key ingredients to:

  • Shopping strategies
  • Couponing strategies
  • Meal planning

It’s best to have a game plan, she stresses. That way you won’t buy ingredients that you don’t need or know what to do with, thereby saving both money and time, which is also a valuable commodity.

Shop at more than supermarkets for bargains, Erin Chase suggests.

Her workshop is titled Savings Nation and is hosted by To register for the class, click here.

Chase likes to stress the importance of making things from scratch, which can also translate into saved money because it generally costs less to make your own than it does to buy processed foods. Foods you make yourself are also considered to be largely healthier because there are fewer preservatives.

Shopping starts at home these days. That’s because all supermarkets have their weekly sales circulars online now, making it easier to see what’s on sale before turning the ignition key, a move that saves on gas money as well as the dinner  budget.

But Chase doesn’t stop only at supermarkets. She walks to a nearby farmers market. She praises those who can go in on a side of beef or take part in community farm cooperatives, in which locally grown seasonal items are made available at their freshest.

Sometimes, farmers offer foods that aren’t altogether familiar, whether it’s a bunch of leeks or kale leaves. those who love to cook gratefully accept the challenge and joy of working with something new. But it can also bring out picky eaters.

How does a mother address that?

Eat well for $5 a dinner. Chase can help you do that.

First, you must recognize that there’s a difference between picky eaters and those unable to eat certain foods, Chase says. Dealing with allergies and food sensitivities are real problems that many face, so people have to learn how to discover if foods have exposure to, say, peanuts or gluten.

But encouraging people to try new foods is actively practiced in her home, where the one-bite rule is in effect. “They can’t tell you they don’t like it if they haven’t tried it,” she says. “You have to try the food.”

Dealing with this as early as possible is the best solution, even if a child is only 2 years old. “You just have to power through it,” she says, suggesting that she has more than a few years of experience in that eating arena.

Picky husbands can sometimes be worse than picky children. “Husbands should be appreciative of the work that goes into preparing a meal,” Chase says. It’s one thing to dislike liver and onions; it’s quite another to turn a cold shoulder to enchiladas when a wife has prepared a tray for a get-together.

And if he persists in voicing objections, “then he can make his own,” she says.

Chase’s focus is on more than saving money. She also wants people in her class to meet others interested in saving, a move that could lead to even more shared information.

“I have two things I want to do,” she says. “I want to educate and to help people connect in the community.”

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Support Hunger Action Events, Food Bank Next Month

September is Hunger Action Month, and the San Antonio Food Bank (SAFB) is asking the community to join the “SA Goes Orange” campaign. Orange is the color symbolic of support of hunger initiatives.

San Antonio’s sixth annual Canstruction competition, Sept. 12-24, is part of an international drive under the auspices of the Society for Design Administration to expand awareness of the worldwide problem of hunger.

The event showcases the talents of local design and construction industry professionals and the students they mentor. Teams representing the San Antonio chapters of The American Institute of Architects and the Society for Design Administration will use thousands of food cans to design and build sculptures to be displayed at North Star Mall. Last year’s event resulted in the donation of more than 30,000 pounds of food.

The Harvest of Hope will be Sept. 25 at 11 a.m., at the Westin La Cantera. Harvest of Hope is the San Antonio Food Bank’s key event fundraiser. Guests are invited to sample signature dishes prepared by San Antonio’s finest chefs, restaurants, catering companies and hotels while listening to live music and bidding on hundreds of auction items. If you are interested in a corporate table or need additional information, please contact Heather Roberts at 210.431.8309.

Earl Abel’s one of restaurant sponsors

Roger Arias, owner of Earl Abel’s, says his restaurant will be among those doing its part this year to support the worthy cause.

During the month of September,  Earl Abel’s employees will be encouraged to wear the color orange to raise the public consciousness about hunger in SA.  In addition, any customer wearing orange will receive a $2 discount on an entrée and drink purchase of $10 or more, $1 of which will go back to the SAFB.  And to beat the heat while fighting hunger, Earl Abel’s will be selling its new Orangesicle milkshake or float, with 20 percent of the proceeds to be donated to the SAFB. Earl Abel’s also will sponsor a team to participate in Canstruction as well as the  Harvest of Hope.

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Time to Work Up an Appetite. It’s GO TEXAN Restaurant Round-Up.

GO TEXAN’s annual Restaurant Round-Up runs July 25-31, which means there are plenty of treats in store for those who want to eat the freshest local fare. Those who purchase any of the following specials will also be helping out the San Antonio Food Bank, which will receive a portion of the profits.

This year’s participating restaurants include:

  • Boardwalk Bistro, 4011 Broadway, 210-824-0100 — Special features include fixed-price Texas lunch and dinner menus. Entrées of Texas seafood, lamb and beef, paired with farm vegetables, as well as desserts made from orchard fruits, Texas cream, eggs and butter. The dinner menu can be paired with an optional flight of Texas wines from seven different wineries and includes a complementary GO TEXAN wine glass. Texas wines also offered by the glass and bottle. A donation from the GO TEXAN meals sold will go to the San Antonio Food Bank.
  • Lüke, 125 E. Houston St., 210-227-5853 — A fixed-price Texas menu featuring three courses includes heirloom tomato and watermelon salad with house-made mozzarella;  Peeler Farms roast chicken with local oyster mushrooms served over red curry squash purée and natural jus; and  Gateau basque, warm vanilla cake served over local peach syrup and topped with house-made crème fraîche. A complimentary glass of Texas wine will be offered with each fixed-price menu ordered. The cost is  $40. A donation will be made to the San Antonio Food Bank.
  • Sea Island Shrimp House, all locations — A special Texas white sangria made with Texas white wine will be offered with 10 percent of the sales going to the San Antonio Food Bank.
  • Tiago’s Cabo Grille, 17711 I-10 W., 210-881-2700, and  8403 Highway 151, 210-647-3600 — A special Texas white sangria made with Texas white wine will be offered with 10 percent of the sales going to the San Antonio Food Bank.


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Planting for the Future

James (left) and Jesse plant corn and pole beans in the Healing Garden.

Geoffrey Martin (left) shows Zeke (center) and Jose how to plant vegetables.

Six boxes of dirt. That’s all you could see on Saturday morning on the grounds of St. PJ’s Children’s Home on Mission Road. But by noon, the boxes were also filled with seeds and plants that grow roots deep in soil and soul, while nourishing bodies and minds.

The Healing Garden is the latest in an ongoing project Security Service Federal Credit Union has set up to benefit the children at the home.

It started four years with the older children who will soon transition to the outside world once they are of age. Volunteers from the credit union had in mind to help the girls learn how to write a check, balance a checkbook, and live on a budget.

It soon grew to include other areas, such as what is involved in eating healthfully, says Letha Harrelson, business development manager for the credit union and head of the project. Pretty soon, the older girls were also learning how to shop for fresh foods as well as how to prepare them.

Jessica just wants to play with a trowel.

The garden idea came along next and now involves all 139 children at St. PJ’s — except for the infants, of course, says Sherry Loyd, director of program services at St. PJ’s.

“We just let everybody get involved,” Harrelson says. “They’re all just great kids.”

Security Service also got the San Antonio Food Bank involved in establishing the gardens.

On two previous Saturdays, the kids, along with plenty of supervision from Geoffrey Martin, garden manager for the Food Bank, and Security Service volunteers, built a half-dozen garden boxes and filled them with dirt. That made everything ready for this past Saturday, when a group of boys ages 5-9 gladly pitched in to plant the seeds and a few plants.

Who wouldn’t want to help? After all, it was a sanctioned time to play in the dirt. A few had that in mind, too, as they appeared more interested in using the trowels and rakes to scatter dirt clods and rocks about. But others were captivated enough to make sure the seeds were planted deep enough and covered sufficiently.

Leatha Harrelson (left) talks with Jose (center) and Jesse about the garden.

At first, two of the boys, James and Jesse, thought it odd that they were planting corn and pole beans together. But as Martin told them, “The beans make food that the corn needs.” The corn will spring up first, but then the bean  plants will climb around the corn.

Okra, peppers and tomatoes were among the other foods that made it into the ground.

Of the seeds planted, the children will probably be able to eat lettuce first, after about 45 days, then tomatoes in 60 days, Martin says. That is, if there are no problems with insects. Should that occur, the gardener will help the kids by showing them how to apply one of three organic pesticides.

The garden boxes will be seasonal. “We’re going to grow them year-round,” Martin says.

Why go to all this effort? “It gives them a sense of where their food comes from and hopefully the beauty of the process,” says Martin, adding that he has “enjoyed soils and plants all my life.” Plus, the more fresh fruit and vegetables that the children incorporate into their diet, the healthier they will be.

“Who knows? One of these children may be the next secretary of agriculture or a plant physiologist,” he says.

That is, if the children are willing to eat what they grow. Some were not too thrilled with the thought of green beans and especially not lima beans, even though the latter wasn’t on the planting schedule. Others talked about how much they loved tomatoes.

Tomato plants and pepper plants are part of the garden.

Seeing the joy on the kids’ faces was all Martin needed to make the effort worthwhile.  “This blesses me to be able to help these children,” he says.

All of the children at St. PJ’s are available for adoption. For more information, call 210-533-1203.

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