What does a culinary specialist do when there is no one to feed? This is what Steve Garner, Southwest Texas Junior College food services coordinator, pondered since returning to work to a semi-empty cafeteria after spring break.
SWTJC students were notified recently not to return to campus due to the COVID-19 novel coronavirus outbreak. A portion of college employees have also been working from home, which left Garner and his staff with few people to feed.
Garner was buying groceries last week and witnessed how hard H-E-B employees were working amidst the coronavirus situation.
“I was in there one day and realized they were working extremely hard but were kind and professional,” Garner said. “I didn’t think a simple ‘thank you’ would be enough; it was then I decided to do something more for them. I’m sure the last thing any of those employees would want to do is go home and cook after a long hard day at work, so I figured a home cooked meal would be a perfect way to show them some appreciation.”
According to Garner, the college was generous enough to allow him to use their kitchen and supplies.
Garner, accompanied by his daughter, Charley Garner, and his father, Mike Garner, loaded up their vehicles and dropped off 40 King Ranch chicken casseroles that he had prepared. Each casserole could feed a family of four. Roy Hernandez, an H-E-B grocery manager, was on duty when the Garners dropped off the meals.
“Our partners are working hard, and no one deserves this more than they do. Thank you to Steve and SWTJC,” Hernandez said.
“The folks at H-E-B have always been there for us, anytime we need anything they come through for us at SWTJC. I wanted to use this opportunity to show them how much we appreciate what they do for the college and the community,” Garner said.
The preceding column was written by Ismael Martinez, social media and public relations specialist with the office of public information at Southwest Texas Junior College.