The Houston Food Bank currently spends about 800,000 pounds of food a day, almost double production before the pandemic.
The Houston Independent School District is opening a third grocery outlet for students attending virtual class.
Starting November 11, families can pick up ready meals every Wednesday from 2pm to 6pm at Barnett Stadium in southeast Houston. When children are not in the car, families are required to provide a birth certificate or proof of enrollment in a school district for each child who needs them for meals.
The other locations are in the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center and the Hexser T. Holliday Food Services Support Center, where meals are served on Saturdays.
These new food distribution locations are emerging as the need for food in the greater Houston area continues to be high. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Houston Food Bank has had to significantly increase the volume of its food distribution.
Brian Greene, president of the Houston Food Bank, said the nonprofit is currently spending about 800,000 pounds of food a day, almost double production before the pandemic.
For a few months, he said, it exceeded a million pounds a day.
“The economy has improved and that’s really good news,” he said. “But there are still a very large number of people who are either unemployed or whose hours have been cut significantly and these are the people we see in ranks.”
Despite higher volumes, the food bank has had fewer sales locations since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.
“In the first few weeks of the pandemic, the number of locations was a real concern with so many of our partners being churches and staffed with retirees,” Greene said. “And understandably they switched off for their own security reasons.”
Many of them have reopened, he said, but they are still not back to normal.
And Greene is concerned about supplies. He said the food bank received a lot of food from restaurants that they couldn’t sell at the start of the pandemic shutdown, but the supply is now dwindling.
“We’re hanging in there,” he said. “It’s just how much longer do we have to stay at these high levels?”
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