Highland Food Pantry- Action Groups / Events

At the Highland Food Pantry on Walnut, we host several events throughout the year. Here is more information about the various events and action groups we hold.   

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Kids Eat Free Summer Meals

Kids Eat Free Summer Meals

Who We Are 

The Kids Eat Free Summer Meals program was created in 2019 under the direction of the Abilene Hunger Coalition, formed in 2018. The KEF program collaborates with various community partners to help “fill the 3-week gap” and continue to offer free meals to children and families after the AISD Free and Reduced Lunch program ends in July and when school begins in August.

What We Do

Our job is to recruit community partners to sponsor host sites, supply volunteers, or provide free meals during the 3-week gap every summer to students and their families. 

Why We Do It

Abilene kids are hungry! Nearly 70% of AISD students are currently on the federal Free and Reduced Lunch Program. Our goal for the Kids Eat Free Summer Meals program is to address the hunger issue during the 3-week gap at the end of July when AISD ends their program and their program begins again at the beginning of the new school year. 

Do You Need Help? 

Check out the Abilene Hunger Coalition Facebook page for more information on the times and site locations for Kids Eat Free Summer Meals. 

How You Can Help

Make an impact on the lives of children in your community. One recipient from 2020 said: "Seeing friendly people was a joy! This time without much social interaction is tough, but even the 2 minutes of these interactions were great." Be the reason someone feels the joy of having a meal this summer. 

Contact Becky Almanza to be a cooking team volunteer or site location volunteer:
 

Want to help financially? 

Free Summer Meals can always use your financial support. Help lift off the financial burden of low to no-income AISD families feeding their children.
Contact Becky Almanza if you are interested in supporting financially:
 

AISD Thanksgiving Pop-Up Food Pantry

AISD Thanksgiving Pop-Up Food Pantry

Since 2018, the Abilene Hunger Coalition has partnered with other agencies and the Abilene Independent School District to find ways to fight hunger among AISD families. Each year, we partner to host a “Pop-up Food Pantry” for AISD families. The pop-up food pantry is in the form of a curbside pickup and approximately 200 to 300 AISD families on the free and reduced lunch program are invited each year through an application process to participate. The Abilene Hunger Coalition is partners with AISD Social Workers, School Counselors, and the Community in Schools organization to identify these families. We specifically provide a Thanksgiving feast for families to enjoy for their Thanksgiving meal each year.  

You can help support AISD families enjoy a Thanksgiving meal by signing up to volunteer! 

Sack Sunday and the Christmas Store Gift Drive

Benefitting the Highland Food Pantry 
Drive-By Offering on Sunday, November 8 at 10:00am-12:00pm

The Highland Food Pantry on Walnut annually hosts the Sack Sunday Food Offering since November 1985. Participate with us in the restoration of Abilene through sharing food with our neighbors and community. 

On Sunday, we invite you to drop off your contribution at the Highland Food Pantry (701 Walnut). Volunteers will be ready to receive your sacks of food and/or gifts for the Christmas Store. When you arrive, you will see red and white signs that will provide you with traffic flow instructions. 

Sack Sunday and Christmas Store Gift Drive

Participating in This Initiative 

Groceries & Gifts
Grocery sacks and suggested shopping list will be available at HIghland's worship venues - Highland's main building (425 Highland Ave) and Highland at the Park (Nelson Park Festival Gardens). 

Food Donation List  Gift Donation List

Helping Hands
Sack Sunday would not be a success without the amazing people who volunteer their time to receive, sort, and stock the food. If you are interested in volunteering at Sack Sunday, click the button below to sign up. 

Sack Sunday Volunteer Sign-Up

Monetary Donations
Monetary donations allow Highland to purchase items using our tax-exempt status at a lower price through the West Central Texas Food Bank, as well as purchase non-grocery and bulk food items. You are able to donate through check, cash, through online giving via Realm, or through text. Remember to designate your donation to either the CMA Food Pantry or the Christmas Store. 

Giving Information

The Christmas Store

The Christmas Store

What is the Christmas Store?

The Christmas Store has served Abilene for many years through the Highland Food Pantry on Walnut. People of the Abilene community have the opportunity to give back. At the same time, they receive points to shop at the Christmas store. All inventory is reliant on donated items. The items are new or in good condition, just like a store!

Points range from $1-$1.50 per point. The points vary depending on the number of participants and inventory.

Shop for yourself, your loved ones, or any essentials you might need!

The Christmas store annually operates on a December weekend.

If you would like to shop at the Christmas Store...

  1. Contact an agency that participates in the Christmas Store

  2. If you cannot find an agency that participates in the Christmas Store, contact Becky Almanza: 

For Agencies

If you foresee that your clients could benefit from shopping at the Christmas store, here are the steps you need to take:

  1. Contact Becky Almanza: 
  1. Register your agency for the Christmas Store

  2. Receive the forms to register your clients

  3. Have your clients earn volunteer hours

  4. Clients shop at the Christmas Store

Community Gardens

Grace Garden

The Freedom Fellowship (941 Chestnut) and Grace Fellowship (910 Cypress) Community Gardens exist to create and nurture community-run organic gardens. We are deeply committed to community pride and unity, teaching organic methods, and the preservation of open spaces. We are proud to offer 60% of the produce from each garden directly to the dinner tables of low-income neighbors through the Highland Food Pantry. We encourage gardeners to create native habitats for biodiversity, encouraging sustainable living techniques and recycling.  We honor diverse abilities, ages, and cultures, all gardeners are welcome!  

Contact:  Joe Almanza (Head Gardener) at 325-669-1661 or email   to set up individual garden workdays or to set up a Garden Workday for your small or large groups.  

Faith and Finances Class

A ministry of the Highland Church of Christ, Faith and Finances Abilene is a financial education course about money and how to manage it in light of God's design for our lives.

The 9 weeks include:

  • Connecting Money and Relationships
  • Exploring Values & Attitude and Overcoming Financial Challenges 
  • Setting Savings Goals
  • Creating a Spending Plan
  • Living Simply and Joyful Giving
  • Managing Debt and Taking Loans
  • Getting Banked and Preparing for Emergencies
  • Planning for Long Term Change

Be a Part of Faith and Finances

When: Call 325-673-5295 for session dates
Where: Highland Food Pantry on Walnut | 701 Walnut | Abilene, TX 79605

Be an Ally

Allies (mentors) promote and sustain individuals in the Faith & Finance program. Allies are Mutual learners on the journey with participants. An ally may be placed with 2-3 participants to provide encouragement, advocacy, and supportive friendship as he/she strives to become economically self-sufficient. 

Responsibilities 

  • Attend and participate in Faith & Finance financial education course as a mutual learner with the participant. While attendance is beneficial to all, we understand previous commitments and absences. 
  • Pray, eat, share, and spend time with participants regularly, provide assistance with savings goals, including reviewing budgets, discussing asset purchases, enrolling in educational courses, etc.  
  • Purchase the Faith & Finance curriculum book ($10.00 per person/non-refundable). 
If you are interested in becoming a Faith & Finance ally, please contact:
Becky Almanza-  or 325-673-5295
"Use everything you have to point others to God and to advance His Kingdom." -Art Rainer 

Your Commitment to Faith & Finances

  • The Faith & Finance course will involve participating in discussions and interacting with classmates and allies as well as listening to the facilitator. This will require all participants to be alert and not use their cell phones during class. Allies offer guidance and are the primary long-term point of contact with participants.  
  • There is a $10 (non-refundable) per person book fee
  • Attendance: Attendance for the Faith & Finances course is vital for the course to benefit you and/or your family. In order for graduates of this program to receive a certificate of completion, all participants must adhere to a 2-point policy in which:
    • One point is given for each absence from class
    • 1/2 a point is given for any participant who arrives after 6 pm
  • Call-ins to Faith & Finance facilitators and/or allies are expected for any absence.
  • Incentives are utilized for attendance, homework completion, and participation in the class. 
  • Sessions are held once a week for approximately two hours. 
  • Throughout the class, participants will be asked to complete homework, including keeping track of ALL expenses and income. Participation will benefit you! 
  • All participants must register and return a complete application prior to each course. 
Becky Almanza
Class Administrator
325-673-5295