Pantry and More keeping up tradition of good favor
By Channing Flatt—
Off highway 67 in Stephenville lies a store abundant in good favor. Originally started by the late Tom Shelton, The Pantry and More’s torch is being passed down to the Briseno family to keep a tradition of community service active here in Stephenville.
Isabel Briseno, daughter of owner Arturo Briseno, said it was brotherly love that prompted her father and family to take up the reigns on the pantry following the passing of Shelton.
“Tom and my father used to refer to each other as brothers. So, one day he (Shelton) told my dad ‘Brother, if something ever happens to me I would like for you to take care of this pantry’,” said Isabel Briseno.
“We’re here to serve the people of the community. Anyone who passes through these gates they automatically qualify. We don’t ask a certain income level, we don’t ask your story. You come in you say, ‘I need food, I need groceries.’ We’ll help you out the best that we can here,” said Briseno.
The new owners say that Shelton’s old age left the property in a state of much needed repair.
The Brisenos said that they have been busy working to clean up the property and sort through all the items that were in The Pantry.
“Tom Shelton was 84-years-old and with his illness he couldn’t really keep up with the property. So, there was a lot of cleaning that we had to do. A lot of sorting through stuff that had been donated making sure things weren’t expired. Making sure what was put on the shelf was good. Making sure the outside was clean. There’s just a lot of cleaning to do,” said Briseno.
No one who comes in is expected to pay for assistance, but the Brisenos want the community to know that everything that is donated to the pantry is put right back into helping those in need.
“Any money that comes, whether it be donations from people who are getting groceries and money that comes from the pantry goes right back into the pantry. Whether it’s to pay the loan payment on the property, whether it’s to pay the electric bill, whether it’s to pay to get more groceries to restock. Any money that comes in isn’t for me or my family, it’s all for the pantry, and it’s the biggest thing for the community to know. That any help we get is going all to the pantry,” said Briseno.
One tradition that the Brisenos want to keep with the pantry is the power of prayer.
“One thing that Mr. Shelton always used to do here at the pantry is if you didn’t need groceries or food. If you just wanted someone to pray for you he would pray with you, and we’re gonna continue that as well,” said Briseno.
Although The Pantry and More has a wide variety of both perishable and non-perishable items it has a high volume of one certain food.
“We have a high supply of cheese and it’s still good so if anyone needs cheese in the community send them our way, said Isabel.
If you need any assistance or want to donate to The Pantry and More is located at 2345 Highway 67 Stephenville and is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The Pantry and More can be reached at 254-592-9696.