The Belton Journal

Helping Hands Ministries distributed 671,357 pounds of food in 2023 impacting around 44,000 area residents.

The organization provides more than food pantry items to the local community.

Also onsite is Laura Mae’s Resale Shop, which is open six days a week and offers clothing, shoes, accessories and more for men, women, children, and infants; household items, including dishes, pots and pans, utensils and kitchenware, towels, sheets and comforters, small appliances; some home décor, toys, furniture, and they accept donations of these items as well. The items are for sale, but customers can apply for financial assistance if needed.

Helping Hands also accepts donations of washers, dryers, and refrigerators but donors should call ahead to ensure the shop can accommodate these items.

Just last week, the food pantry served 641 households. They average around 550 to 600 households a week. Fresh vegetables and a large variety of canned items are available. Eggs, dairy products, and a selection of meat are also included. Volunteers work the pantry Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, with hours varying on these days. They refill the vegetable bins and restock canned items.

“We surveyed those coming into the food pantry. The main reason they were seeking help is rising food prices. We are seeing lots of working families coming in. Some are new families moving into the area who we haven’t seen before,” said Alicia Jallah, Director of Helping Hands Ministries.

They Partner with the Central Texas Food Bank and the local HEB and Walmart stores.

“There are people going hungry who are working for a living with families to support. We try to meet those needs. Financial assistance for electricity and water can be obtained. We serve many people on fixed incomes. We have volunteers who help deliver the groceries each week. We deliver a small number each week,” said Jallah.

The Helping Hands Ministry delivers 200 snack bags a week on Fridays to kids who attend Belton Schools.

“We get really good feedback from the financial program we offer. The speaker we have can relate to those in need. You can always develop financial knowledge. He assists those with their budget regardless of the situation,” said Christa Ochoa, Director of the Program for Helping Hands.

Helping Hands offers a personal finance class on the last Monday of each month. The class is taught by a professional financial advisor.

With support from 25 area churches, Helping Hands offers a Bible study taught by a minister volunteer.

Helping Hands Ministries employs six full-time and 5-6 part-time employees. They draw from a source of 100 volunteers a month to aid those in need. There is a warehouse to store the food appliances and other things. They offer a resource center to make copies, computer access, and assist with job applications if needed.

Helping Hands Ministry was founded in 1995 by the Belton Ministers’ Fellowship, an ecumenical gathering of local ministers, to serve the Belton community with a centralized food pantry. In the beginning, individuals from several local churches volunteered their time to serve 30 families in the basement of the First United Methodist Church of Belton. The pantry later moved to First Christian Church in Belton, then eventually relocated to a house at 1009 West Avenue D. In November 2008, the Helping Hands Ministry moved to its current location at 2210 Holland Road.

To volunteer or apply for assistance visit