In true Houston fashion, Houstonians are around town trying to help and volunteer wherever they can. Many places have had AMAZING turnout and are having to turn volunteers away! I have had so many friends reach out and tell me they are having a hard time finding places to volunteer because places are full! This is so representative of the city I know and love! Yesterday, I spent the evening volunteering at the Houston Food Bank to help with the increase need after the hurricane. I thought I would share you with you about my fun experience Volunteering at the Houston Food Bank incase you are looking for somewhere to help or donate!
Volunteering at the Houston Food Bank is ALWAYS fun and as they respond to a huge need in Houston, they need more volunteers than ever at the Portwall location. You can sign up online to volunteer and that would be the preferred method, but they were still taking walk-ins yesterday evening when I stopped by!
Our guide shared with us that the items we were making were going directly to the shelters that evening. So we all felt very connected to Hurricane Harvey relief. We boxed together items for Senior citizens that included cereal, milk, juice, rice, beans, veggies and proteins through an assembly line method. Our team of about 25 volunteers worked well together and finished 7 pallets of boxes! With each box creating a little over 20 meals for the recipients, we helped box together over 10,000 meals to head to the shelters! That was with about an hour or two of work! We all walked away feeling good about helping our neighbors!
How it Works
The Houston Food Bank has SO many great programs, that I cannot detail them all here. For example, during my visit, we worked on boxes for a federally funded program that provides supplemental food boxes to Senior Citizens. You can learn more about their programs here.
The main assistance provided by the Food Bank is through their food pantry which rivals any Houston grocery store! It is honestly beautiful! I think creating a space like this is respectful of those in need. Just because someone has fallen on hard times, does not mean they should be relegated to inhumane spaces to obtain basic necessities.
To utilize the food pantry, employed guests need to provide 1) a Government ID 2) A paycheck or paystub 3) some official document with your address like a utility bill. Unemployed guests can still receive assistance as well! The Food Bank will provide a prepared box for those guests.
There are a lot of debates going on about whether you should donate to local or national organizations. I will say this, Houston is a HUGE city with organizations that have been doing this work for years. The Houston Bank is one of them. This is not a rinky dink operation at all. Matter of fact, their warehouse and store, rivals that of any major grocery store. Since so many Houstonians are familiar with the Houston Food Bank, they will certainly go there in their time of need. For that reason, it is important that we send funds directly to them!
You can provide financial donations from anywhere. Every dollar you provide to the Houston Food Bank, provides ONE meal to a person in need. That’s a huge benefit! If you are looking for other places to donate your time or money, check out the list I posted the other day.