PLEASANTON – In Pleasanton, there is a food pantry that has been supplying the community for a year.
The mission of the pantry itself is simple: to feed those in need.
“A way to give food back, just because it’s needed and we can all help,” Brianna Rodriguez said.
Jesse’s Snack Pantry has been in Pleasanton at the First Baptist Church Youth Center at 311 N Smith St. for a year now.
Feeding a village on a legacy of donation is the goal of this free pantry in Pleasanton. Tonight on the #nightbeat I’m going to introduce you to one of the women behind the snack bar and the man who inspired it all. @ksatnews pic.twitter.com/jfrwQIU6DY
— Leigh Waldman (@LeighWaldman) June 5, 2022
Rodriguez started it with his sister Marissa Partida.
“My sister has been to the pantry a few times, you know, restocking it and cleaning it and checking it and people have been going there. An older lady told her, “I wouldn’t have eaten today if it wasn’t here,” Rodriguez said.
The pantry is stocked by Rodriguez and his sister, as well as members of the community. You can find things like baby food, even canned food, but also a bit about Jesus “Jesse” H. Antu, Jr., the pantry’s namesake and Rodriguez’s father.
“It was December 2020 and it’s really unfortunate because he was fine and then he wasn’t and then he was fine and then the next day he was gone,” she said.
Her father worked as a pipeline operator for decades. Rodriguez said he had his own catchphrase: “Nothing better than a pipeliner.”
He had to give up working on his beloved machines when his diabetes took his sight, forcing him to become disabled and take care of his daughters.
“My sister and I had to take my dad to a lot of doctor’s appointments and so we were like come on dad, we’re going on an adventure,” Rodriguez said.
Sadly, COVID took his life at 61 after a short battle. His daughters didn’t want their father to become another pandemic statistic, they wanted his legacy to live on in the pantry.
“You feed a dad from the village, you continue to serve,” she said in tears.
Jesse’s Snack Pantry is open 24/7 and donations, including toiletries, are welcome.
Nearby, Pleasanton ISD has launched its summer feeding program.
Until June 30, their primary, elementary and middle schools will reopen for breakfast from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Lunch is served from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday.
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