Montrose bar transforms into PRIDE Pantry

MONTROSE (KTRK) -- As Americans struggle with unemployment and underemployment during the COVID19 pandemic, a Montrose LGBTQ bar has started a donation drive, offering food and household supplies for those in need.

It's called the Pride Pantry.

"I'm so appreciative. They literally saved my life because I had lost my job, I had no type of money for groceries," said Ramiro Rodriguez, who received help after getting laid off. "I was kind of shy to even ask anybody, but they were so nice, once I got close to them."

"I think sometimes people are too proud to ask for help and you don't want to be part of a system or part of a spreadsheet," said organizer Joe Melton. "There's no judgement here. Just get what you need and come in our own."

"As a bartender myself, I know there are a lot of bartenders in the service industry that have been out of work for quite some time," said volunteer Crystal Murley. "This is for everyone. It's not for the gay community, it's all inclusive. So, people that are in the area, please come. If you need food, please come and take what you mean."

You're invited to receive or donate any groceries or other supplies. The pantry is fully donation-based and run by volunteers.

"If you're feeling depressed and you're feeling bad about yourself, the best thing you can do is do something for somebody else and that will bring you out of that, it really helps," said volunteer Roxanne Collins. "I've noticed that I can come and volunteer on a Saturday and I'm still feeling that joy in my heart on Tuesday."

"There's so much right now on social media that's political or pointing fingers on who's not doing things right and who's not following protocol," Melton added. "I just thought this was a great time to have a group of friends and infuse positive. This is a passion project, right, so, to just infuse positive into the world and help people."

The pantry is open inside Barcode Houston at 817 Fairview on Saturdays and Sundays between noon and 5 p.m.
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