BROWNSVILLE — To help those who need it the most during this pandemic, the International Christian Center, in partnership with the city of Brownsville, Pepsi and Be a Champion, is giving out free meals to all children 18 and under within the community.

Jose Nieto, who is in charge of the group of volunteers at the center, said they started helping the community with meals on Wednesday after they were approached by Be a Champion.

“They really serve the Jubilee schools around here and they serve meals to kids 18 and younger and we really just wanted to bless the community that maybe does not have money to buy food at the moment and we just wanted to bless them with meals,” Nieto said.

Be a Champion provides the church with hundreds of pre-packaged meals such as cheese, nuts, cranberries and more.

Nieto said since they have also partnered with Pepsi Company and other organizations, the church is able to give out fresh meals and non-perishables. He said the children do not have to be present to receive the meal and each child will receive five meals.

“This is open to the public and we are abiding by all authorities; federal, state and local authorities; whatever mandates they have and here locally they have a one person per car requirement so all they have to do is come with the list of their children and every kid per household gets a total of five meals,” he said.

Nieto said throughout history, the church has always helped the community when it comes to crisis. He said both the International Christian Center in Brownsville and the one in Olmito will be giving out food.

“Here locally in Brownsville, we know that we are one of the poorest communities and a lot of us do have food stamps but for the people that do not have food stamps, we just want to bless people in this time of need,” he said.

Thanks to volunteers, those who go pick up their meals may also receive a bag that may contain toiletries and other needed items such as a bottle of water and toilet paper.

Brenda Davila, a volunteer with the church, said it is always important for everybody to help each other, especially now with the pandemic that is leaving thousands of people in the community without jobs. She said on Wednesday she and her husband started donating items that they had at home so they could help others who need it.

“We usually go out and try to help the community and we did this for the first time on Wednesday and my husband just thought about the stuff that we have at home that maybe other families don’t have,” she said. “So, we just started making little bags and giving them out to them.

“It’s just the Christian thing to do, if you know somebody that needs something and you have it you just give it to them without asking for anything in return.”

Pete Davila, who also volunteers with the church, said he hopes the pandemic ends soon and that the church has helped a lot of people no matter their religion.

“We have been coming here for seven years. It is an awesome place and it has really helped us. It has helped our family, helped a lot of people and it is a great thing to do and everybody needs help, no matter what religion or race, we just need to be there for one another.” he said. “I hope everything ends soon and my hope is just for everybody to love one another and help each other out.”

To see future dates to pick up food, visit “International Christian Center” on Facebook or call them at (956) 541-3500.