Harris County extends partnership with Houston Food Bank

Harris County extends partnership with Houston Food Bank
Pallets of various foods are stacked on shelves in the extensive warehouse at the Houston Food Bank Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020, in Houston. It's the largest U.S. food bank and national food bank leaders say they don't see an end in sight to the demand. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)

With the economic downturn brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, many are struggling to put food on the table, especially fresh, healthy food. In the face of local rising food insecurity, Commissioners Court once again extended its partnership with the Houston Food Bank to ensure that Harris County residents can receive free boxes of fresh food.

“We have all seen the heartbreaking images from around the state of cars stretched for miles waiting for food,” said Precinct One Commissioner Rodney Ellis. “Throughout this year, the County has stepped up our efforts to ensure that the Houston Food Bank has the resources to meet the needs of our community during this difficult time. Fresh, healthy food isn’t always within reach for people who are struggling to make ends meet, so I am proud that we are extending this partnership to get boxes of food into the hands of those who need it.”

The new amendment to the contract between the Houston Food Bank and Harris County extends the partnership through June 30, 2021, and includes the one-time purchase of 1.92 million pounds of food, as well as funding to cover the labor costs of distributing 4.32 million pounds of food per month over the next six months.

The average number of workers funded for the Houston Food Bank through this agreement is around 217. The agreement authorizes an additional $5M in funds from Harris County to the Houston Food Bank, bringing the total funding for the year at over $9.3 million.

“The pandemic is challenging all of us in new ways, and Houston Food Bank is no different. We are seeing levels of need for food assistance higher than ever before, and to ensure that all who need help receive it, Houston Food Bank, in turn, needs help, and we are so grateful for the continued support of Harris County,” says Brian Greene, President/CEO of Houston Food Bank. “As some previous programs supporting food banks end, we know the new year will bring further challenges, but this important partnership will help us to provide food for better lives.”

In addition to supporting the countywide efforts, Precinct One has conducted several food initiatives throughout this year to get fresh, healthy food to residents to thousands of families. These initiatives include weekly food distributions, which serve approximately 500 families/week; daily food deliveries to families on behalf of the Houston Food Bank, and food sorting three days a week, all conducted by Precinct One staff. Commissioner Ellis and Precinct One are committed to getting food assistance to all residents who need it.