We’re halfway through 2020, and 3 ½ months into the worldwide pandemic affecting us directly. We’re no longer client-choice, to ensure the safety of all, but we’re still able to provide a variety of non-perishable and perishable items each week to the community. As we see cases rising daily in our area, we’ve managed to stay healthy and open each week, due to cleaning and rigorous adherence to CDC guidelines.
We’re now able to order some items from the Houston Food Bank as they increase non-perishable product availability. We order by pallet & by type – never quite sure what we’ll actually receive. So far we’ve received pallets of canned beans, canned peas, and canned chicken. We’ve also received two pallets of mashed potatoes, a pallet of sparkling water and a pallet of dried lentils with rice and dehydrated vegetables. We make it all work, and our clients truly appreciate all we’re able to give them.
This week we’re all taking a much needed break and are closed for the 4th of July holiday. Many volunteers haven’t had a break since March, and the anxiety affects all of us – volunteers and clients, regardless of our situations.
I want you to know that your support has lifted us up this year, and I thank you. We’ve received random notes from around the country supporting our efforts as well as contributions from many. Since modifying operations for COVID-19:
We served 1,789 clients and 6,635 individuals.
We averaged more than 65 lbs of food for each client.
On average, more than 40% of our clients have been new to the Pantry.
Community members and organizations have provided books, health information and flyers to help our clients find additional support.
Volunteers have stepped up to be our “shoppers” – taking the time and energy to purchase up to 25 cases of needed products not yet available from the Houston Food Bank.
We’ve had Scout support – more than 3,000 lbs of non-perishable food and $1,600 from one Eagle Scout.
We’ve received “egg money” allowing us to provide two dozen eggs per client, helping make up for our lack of frozen meat.
Community members have sewn and donated hundreds of beautiful masks for volunteers and clients.
A mom and daughter duo improved our Feed Frank signage to help the community use our donation box.
We’ve distributed more than $2,500 in donated fresh milk from Borden Dairy and the FarmLink program.
We’ve even been highlighted in local publications – The Leader and At Home in Woodland Heights.
Most importantly, volunteers have stepped up each week, each day, to do the hard work of sorting donations, pre-bagging items, emptying Feed Frank, and distributing food with welcoming smiles for all. That is not an easy task! We’re outside, it’s hot and we work hard to avoid having bumper cars in the parking lots.
We continue to be grateful for the support that is so needed. Thank you for the prayers and thoughts you have for us that give us strength. I wish you rest and health this week. Enjoy the fireworks shows on TV, and we’ll welcome volunteers back to the Pantry on July 8!