Houston Food Bank COVID-19 & Winter Storm Response

by Houston Food Bank
Houston Food Bank COVID-19 & Winter Storm Response
Houston Food Bank COVID-19 & Winter Storm Response
Houston Food Bank COVID-19 & Winter Storm Response
Houston Food Bank COVID-19 & Winter Storm Response
Houston Food Bank COVID-19 & Winter Storm Response
Houston Food Bank COVID-19 & Winter Storm Response
Houston Food Bank COVID-19 & Winter Storm Response
Houston Food Bank COVID-19 & Winter Storm Response
Houston Food Bank COVID-19 & Winter Storm Response
Houston Food Bank COVID-19 & Winter Storm Response
NRG distribution with Houston ISD.
NRG distribution with Houston ISD.

Since our last report in March 2021, HFB has continued to serve communities impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic across our 18-county service area in southeast Texas. In April and May of 2021:

  • 36,314,220 lbs of food and product distributed
  • 10,945,300 lbs of fresh produce distributed
  • 6,725 individuals volunteered at HFB
  • 114,879 meals delivered to homes safely and with no contact with the help of volunteers, staff and partners such as CrowdSource Rescue and TaskRabbit
  • 88,811 ready to eat meals distributed to children in the Kids Cafe program
  • 74,625 food sacks distributed to children in the Backpack Buddy program

Without supporters like you, HFB would not be able to do the work that we do!

As we passed a year into the pandemic, we have adjusted to meet the needs of the community and adapted our logistics and operations to help people in the safest and most effective ways possible. Now that there are established workflows around immediate priorities, our focus has broadened to include long-term priorities to continue to meet the elevated long-term need in the community. Our long-term priorities include:

  • Continuing to meet rising demand and feed people who may be relying on our support for the first time;
  • Advocating for state support to help our partners meet the need;
  • Adapting the ways we deliver food to meet unique needs of individuals and community partners;
  • Educating the community to share information and destigmatize food support

On behalf of HFB and the clients we serve, thank you for your support this past year. We don’t want to just endure this crisis- we want to come out stronger and in a better position to serve our community.

HFB's Community Health Market Trailer distribution
HFB's Community Health Market Trailer distribution
Volunteers assembling food boxes
Volunteers assembling food boxes
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Volunteer loads truck at HISD distribution.
Volunteer loads truck at HISD distribution.

One year ago, COVID-19 became a household term and changed daily life as we know it. The pandemic impacted everyone at varying levels, but for those who were already struggling with food-insecurity, it made a tough situation dire. It brought a new level of demand from those the Houston Food Bank already serves as well as from those who have never sought food assistance before. Loss of employment or lessening of hours, and business and school closures created demand from across all demographics. 

Demand for food assistance increased dramatically right from the start of lockdown orders in March 2020. Houston Food Bank’s daily distribution doubled from the previous year, to 800,000 pounds per day and going as high as 1 million pounds per day. The numbers – some still being tabulated – are staggering, but all told, in the first 11 months of the pandemic, from March 2020 through February 2021, the Houston Food Bank distributed an astounding 272,380,275 pounds of food. This past year's accomplishments could only have been achieved by support from the community, businesses, our partner organizations, and individuals like you. 

In mid-February 2021, HFB and the State of Texas experienced a devastating winter storm that affected all 18 counties in our service area. Many of our neighbors lost power and water, including families who were already struggling with food insecurity. Even as Houston Food Bank’s offices were closed due to the dangerous weather conditions, the Food Bank was open for distributions from the start of the winter storm, operating using ‘ride-out crews’ stationed at both Food Bank locations to monitor the buildings and handle emergency requests each day. In the early part of the storm week, we provided prepared meals to shelters and warming centers, and by the end of the week we returned to more regular operations as community partner sites re-opened.

We recognize that the impact and aftereffect of this storm will be felt acutely in a community already dealing with the health and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and your donation helps ensure those affected can rely on the Food Bank and our partners for support.

On behalf of all of us at HFB and the clients we serve, I want to thank you for your committment to our mission of providing food for better lives. 

HFB employee loads mobile pantry for distribution.
HFB employee loads mobile pantry for distribution.
Cars wait in line at NRG Stadium distribution.
Cars wait in line at NRG Stadium distribution.
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On behalf of the Houston Food Bank (HFB), partner agencies and more importantly, the clients we serve; I want to extend our gratitude to you for your support in helping us serve those affected by the pandemic. With your generous gift, the Houston Food Bank has continued its COVID-19 response efforts, helping meet the needs of food insecure families in Houston and across southeast Texas.

The need for food assistance has increased drastically as the COVID-19 pandemic continues and Houston Food Bank’s response in the last few months demonstrates that. To meet this evolving and increasing need, we have had to continuously alter our business modeloften at increased cost-- due to impact on supply chains, social distancing limitations on volunteer efforts, and the need for safe, low-contact food distributions. We are distributing nutritious meals utilizing new models and leveraging new partnerships to meet the varying needs of the community during this unprecedented time. 

From August to October 2020, HFB's COVID-19 response efforts include: 

  • 65,403,887 pounds of food and product distributed
  • 633,812 home deliveries of food made safely and with no contact with the help of volunteers, staff, and partners
  • 29,824,115 pounds of produce distributed to the community
  • 575,876 ready to eat meals distributed to kids in the Kids Cafe program
  • 124,248 households served each week, approximately, on average

The meal counts and pounds distributed you see in these materials are more than just a number or statistic; they represent thousands of smiles from our neighbors in southeast Texas who felt relief from the pain of hunger because of your donation. On behalf of the families we serve including those made more vulnerable as the COVID-19 pandemic spreads, thank you for your continued commitment to food for better lives.

Neighborhood Supersite Distribution at NRG Stadium
Neighborhood Supersite Distribution at NRG Stadium
Volunteers loading trunk with produce
Volunteers loading trunk with produce
Senior Box Program - home delivery
Senior Box Program - home delivery
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Thank you so much for supporting the Houston Food Bank's COVID-19 response efforts! When our neighbors are struggling, Houston Food Bank is there—every day of the year. With our community in the grips of COVID-19, we are meeting the increased needs of today while preparing for continued challenges in the weeks and months to come

I wanted to briefly share with you how we are responding to the needs of our neighbors in Houston and across southeast Texas. Since March, we have been:

  • Working together with school districts to supplement their efforts to ensure children who rely on meals at school are still receiving access to nutritious food during the summer;
  • Coordinating with municipal health departments on distribution of Quarantine Food Kits. This is direct distribution to medically-directed quarantined / isolated individuals;
  • Operating alternative distribution models, following CDC recommendations for social distance measures and enhanced sanitation and monitoring partner sites to ensure that all partners are promoting social distance practices such as drive-through and appointment-based distributions;
  • Adjusting daily to meet the needs of the community and adapting our logistics and operations to help people in the safest and most effective way possible.

Please see the attached document for some of the service highlights made possible through the generosity of people like you. 


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Organization Information

Houston Food Bank

Location: Houston, TX - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @houstonfoodbank
Project Leader:
Abraham Caballero
Houston, TX United States
$22,681 raised of $99,000 goal
 
211 donations
$76,319 to go
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