We’ve made it through a year of the pandemic. I’m excited to have received my vaccine and to see so many others getting vaccinated as well. After countless challenges and blessings, sitting here on a gorgeous Houston spring day, I am looking forward to what’s next—modifying what we do for the ‘new normal.’
We served 1,636 clients in the first quarter, including 171 families at our February Food Fair and 48 families who were served immediately after Winter Storm Uri. Twenty-one volunteers braved the cold on Saturday before the storm for our first Food Fair in a year, and five volunteers came that Thursday to distribute food to those affected by the storm. On Saturday, we opened as usual with more awesome volunteers—some still struggling with their own water issues. We are grateful for our community members and organizations who ensure we have nutritious food and are able to distribute it.
What’s next? We’re reviewing the modifications made this past year and the lessons learned to move out of disaster mode.
We’re still struggling with limited supplies from the Houston Food Bank, continuing the need for community food drives for non-perishable product. We’re using donated funds to order or shop for what we need. Kroger has been very supportive with these efforts, but bulk orders place a heavy burden on our volunteers.
We averaged 137 clients per week in 2020 (167 weekly in October and November), compared to 105 weekly in 2019. We’re hopeful these numbers may decrease, but we expect continued growth compared to a ‘typical’ year. We plan to introduce new hours later this year to meet the growing demand.
How can you help? We’ve experienced a lot in 11 (almost 12!) years, and this past year feels like two years in one! Volunteers are our lifeblood, and circumstances change. We hope to find a few new lead volunteers. If you’ve been volunteering and are interested in doing a bit more, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Opportunities coming up include:
Picking up donations Thursday morning or Thursday and Friday at noon.
Leading a volunteer shift. Pick a shift, be trained and guide others during a two hour bagging/sorting session on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday.
If you’re a long-time supporter or found us during the pandemic, you are important to our community. We do what we do with your physical, spiritual and monetary support. Physical volunteers see firsthand the appreciation and joy that surrounds our Pantry. Spiritual and monetary volunteers — I hope this note provides you that same feeling.
Thank you, as always, for your generosity and joy of spirit.
Our good neighbor Travis Elementary delivered a wonderful collection of donated pantry staples contributed by parents, teachers and staff.
Our behind the scenes shoppers, data entry crew, donation pick-up team, shelf stockers and countless others continued to keep us moving forward.
Give when you shop
Kroger Community Rewards helps you easily give to those in need. Visit www.kroger.com and create or log in to your Kroger Plus account. Search for HEIGHTS INTERFAITH MINISTRIES FOOD PANTRY by name or number (NR183) and then click Enroll.
Amazon Smile lets you give to the charity of your choice every time you shop. Visit smile.amazon.com and create or login to your Amazon account. Search for HEIGHTS INTERFAITH MINISTRIES, INC. and choose as your charity to support. Shop on Amazon at smile.amazon.com to give when you purchase.