Montgomery County Food Bank opens new food pantry at Travis Elementary

By: Sean K. Thompson
| Published 12/01/2022


THE WOODLANDS, TX – In a partnership between the Montgomery County Food Bank, Conroe Independent School District, and Amazon, a next-level food pantry celebrated its grand opening within the corridors of Travis Elementary School in Conroe.

“We live in an incredibly generous community”

The pantry is stocked with healthy foodstuffs and personal hygiene items and is designed to ease the burden on the too-many numbers of students and their families who oftentimes wonder from where their next meal is coming.

Dr. Curtis Null, superintendent of Conroe Independent School District. Was on hand to discuss with Woodlands Online the importance of programs such as this one. “We fix food insecurity through education. We see it every day in our schools; we see many families in need. I see it through both my responsibilities as superintendent of the school district and as a board member of the Montgomery County Food Bank. We live in an incredibly generous community, so I know that when our community knows there’s a need they step up because they see what the food bank does, and we certainly appreciate that.”

Dr. Null pointed out that 30,000 students of Conroe ISD benefit from either free or reduced lunches. “This is a day that makes me proud, because this is the definition of community; this is people coming together to help those in need, whether they’re government entities like the school, nonprofits like the food bank, or public companies like Amazon who have given money and resources. We should all be proud of that as citizens of Montgomery County.”

Kristine Marlow, president and CEO of the Montgomery County Food Bank, spoke highly of Amazon and its dedication to the program. “Amazon has been of incredible community assistance for us. They were putting in a new facility off of Highway 99, and they contacted us and said that they really wanted to do something to help the community, that they were a community business and wanted to give back. Collaborating with our team, we came up with the idea for this pantry, and then we turned to Conroe ISD with the idea. We may have many pantries throughout our schools, but this one is very special, because it has a fridge and freezer, something not usually seen.”

Dr. Null explained that this is the first pantry of this level, and chose this school because it was determined to be in an area of high need. “It’s beautifully stocked with straight lines and picture-perfect today, but the real beauty is in seeing it next week when the shelves will be all disheveled because children have been able to come in and shop for food and take it home to their families,” he said.

Mrs. Marlow, a longtime resident of The Woodlands, took over operations of the food bank in 2020 and hasn’t slowed down in her efforts since day one. Of the 650,000 Montgomery County residents, 73,000 of them are considered to be food insecure.

“Our mission is to unite the community to fight hunger, and during this time when economic situations are so challenging people are having a hard time if they’re living paycheck to paycheck making those ends meet,” she said. “Food is a basic need; it’s one of those things that if you don’t have it you really can’t live your life. And so our community really comes together to provide food to people who are in need.”

According to Dr. Null, donating to the food bank is the best way to donate money, especially at this time of year. “One great benefit of donating to the food bank is that everything stays local,” he said. “You can certainly donate food, but I would encourage you to give money instead of food, because their buying power goes much further than yours or mine; we might spend $20 at the grocery store and donate the food, but that same $20 spent by the bank will reap exponentially more food items.”

Mrs. Marlow also pointed out, “An additional benefit of this pantry is that it has an educational component; students and their families can learn about making good, healthy food choices.”

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