Rockwall County Helping Hands unveils new Food Pantry

(ROCKWALL, TX – Nov. 23, 2015) Rockwall County Helping Hands celebrated the grand opening of its new Assistance and Referral and Food Pantry this afternoon with an unveiling at its new location at 102 S. First St. in Rockwall.

Phase 1 of the Helping Hands’ capital campaign renovations project involves expanding the A&R program to more than twice its size to incorporate a larger food pantry, reception area and bigger space for offices.

“Today is a monumental day for this organization,” said Rockwall County Helping Hands President Jon Bailey. “We’re in a position now with the renovations of our new Assistance and Referral and Food Pantry to sustain this organization and to sustain the need in Rockwall County for probably the next ten years.”

Bailey added that the announcement to embark on the project was made back in January. “Today we have the opportunity to let you see the fruits of that labor and very kind donations that have come in,” Bailey said.

Bailey recognized both the Liechty family and Atmos Energy, two groups that he said were instrumental in allowing the project to come to fruition.

Heath Mayor Lorne Liechty, who serves on the board of directors for Helping Hands, shared his thoughts about what this project means to the community as well as to him personally.

“Jon mentioned that we started a capital campaign about a year ago, and the board decided that we’d embark on this campaign so we can better meet the needs of this community – Rockwall County. We set forth a number of different capital improvements; and one of them particularly caught my eye. That was the Rockwall County Food Pantry – because the Food Pantry allows us to achieve one of the primary objectives of Helping Hands, which is that no one in Rockwall County will go hungry at night,” said Liechty.

“So I called my family, my siblings, and asked them if they would be willing to participate in making a special gift to Helping Hands…And as I suspected, they all said yes. And the reason they said yes is largely due to my parents.”

Liechty revealed that that timing of the grand opening was especially meaningful, because if his dad, Paul, were still alive, today would be his 88th birthday. He recognized his mother, Jean, who was present at the event.

“My mom and dad had very giving hearts. If they had something to give, they’d give it…We dedicate the Food Pantry to my parents based on a Bible verse, Proverbs 19, Verse 17: “He that has pity on the poor, lend it to the Lord, and that which he has given, He will repay you.”

As the Paul and Jean Liechty Food Pantry of Helping Hands was unveiled, Liechty added, “When we give to others, God will always be faithful to give to us.”

Liz Beauchamp of Atmos Energy then addressed the crowd and unveiled the Atmos Energy Assistance and Referral Reception Area. “Wow, what a difference a year makes,” Liz said. “This is a beautiful thing for Rockwall County…We were proud and honored as Atmos Energy to be able to sponsor this project.”

The Assistance & Referral Area and Food Pantry grew from 2,200 square feet to about 6,000 square feet, which the community has stepped up in a big way to help fill.

To learn more or to make a donation, visit rockwallhelpinghands.com.

By Dawn Redig, Blue Ribbon News. Photos by BRN Media. 

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