By Dave Rogers
For The Record

The good news coming from Orange Christian Services this Christmas season is that the number of clients served by the food pantry is down in 2016.
The bad news is the totals are still wicked high.
“We’ve seen the numbers go down a little this year,” Judy Jensen, executive director for the social services agency, said. “That gives us hope people are getting back on their feet.”
But there’s this statistic: One of every four children in our area are hungry.
“It’s a very big need that we have here,” said Melissa Isaacs, executive director for the Bridge City/Orangefield Ministerial Alliance.
The folks of Orange County who can are good about helping those who can’t, the two agree. And they, in turn, are thankful for the surge in donations they get at Christmas.
“What happens is during this season, people’s generosity just blossoms. That helps give us food that’s needed in the holiday season and into the New Year,” Jensen said.
“But hunger knows no holidays. It’s there all year. People are hungry February 1 and April 1 the same as at Christmas.”
Both Jensen and Isaacs say Orange County donors have never let them down.
“We see people step to the plate and give,” Jensen said. “They give two ways, actual food products and monetary donations.”
Isaacs says she’s always seeking a third kind of donation.
“Anybody can volunteer,” she said. “We’re always looking for volunteers.”
She said her agency has 45 to 50 volunteers helping out in the Ministerial Alliance food pantry each month, but a particular area of need is for men who can work in the warehouse or drive trucks.
The Ministerial Alliance, 285 W. Roundbunch Road in Bridge City, and Orange Christian Alliance, 2518 West Park Ave. in Orange, are just two of several food pantries and soup kitchens to donate non-perishable food to in the Orange-Bridge City area.
Others include the Salvation Army at 1950 West Park Ave. in Orange, the First Presbyterian Church at 902 Green Ave. in Orange, St. Mary Catholic Church at 912 W. Cherry St. in Orange, the Mount Sinai Baptist Church at 1113 N. 2nd St. in Orange, and the Mount Olive Baptist Church at 106 West Park Ave. in Orange.
Orange Christian Services also operates The Field of Plenty community garden that offers fresh produce to local families. Call 409-886-0938 for more information.