A history of the Fredericksburg Food Pantry
Some of the people involved in distributing food commodities through our local churches, and seeing a need for more food items being made available to needy persons in Fredericksburg and Gillespie County, decided to take action, with the blessing and under the eyes of the Gillespie County Ministerial Association.
A letter was written and signed by the then president of the Ministerial Association, John Hierholzer, and sent to all area churches and other helping organizations. The first meeting was held on January 25, 1988, in the parish hall of St. Barnabas Episcopal Church with about 30 representatives in attendance. Another meeting was scheduled that day and a working plan was put in place. Meetings were scheduled regularly during the spring and representatives from other food pantries were brought in to hold informational discussions. There were differences of opinion, with some wishing to use the operation as a tool to proselytize, and most wishing to demonstrate God's love through loving action alone. Finally, a group of five individuals became the "working" board of what was to be called the Fredericksburg Food Pantry, and the following actions were pursued: securing a suitable location for the operation, securing funds, becoming a non-profit corporation, and starting a public relations campaign. The location secured was 710 Reuben Street. The property was inspected and rented on July 6, 1988, and then made ready for occupancy. Many individuals volunteered their time and money to help the fledgling operation get off to a good start. The doors were officially opened on September 1, 1988. The first board of directors were; John Hierholzer, Pastor of the Hill Country Evangelical Free Church, Pastor Ray Thiemann of Holy Ghost Lutheran Church, Helen Griggs, laywoman from the First Baptist Church, Verna Kelsey, also from First Baptist, and Betsy Slyker from St. Barnabas Episcopal Church.