HOUSTON - During the coronavirus outbreak, Houstonians are pitching in in droves to help residents in need.
Help, for some, is arriving at their front door.
A number of groups and organizations are now making house calls, taking food and other necessities to people who can’t leave home because of the threat of COVID-19, such as the elderly.
Some who are in need who can get out are finding help at drive-up non-profits and churches, a different kind of drive-thru than what we’re used to.
"They’re getting four types of meat, which is ham, chicken, ground beef, and pork. They’re getting eggs, all different kind of canned goods, rice, potatoes, milk,” explains Living Water Ministries Pastor R.C. Stearns who runs the church's food pantry Joseph House Pantry.
It’s a type of 'fast food’ pick up that is far from the norm for most and no one knows how long it may be the new normal.
"I’m ok and I can handle it if it’s just another month or two. Other than that I don’t know,” says Yolanda Medina who’s picking up items from the church.
Living Water Ministries in Northeast Harris County has given hundreds of boxes of food, fruit, and toiletries.
"We appreciate it and I’m so happy because the stuff we need to go buy we can’t even get it,” says Cyntheal Cook.
"It is double the normal volume of people, almost triple,” says Pastor Stearns and that’s putting a strain on Joseph House. "Right now what we need is more toilet paper. We gave 600 rolls. We need more hand sanitizer. We could use a large freezer for the perishables, such as meat and milk,” says the pastor.
They also need more volunteers. A number of deputies stopped by to help.
“We’re directing traffic. We’re out giving out boxes. We’re doing whatever the church needs us to do to make sure the citizens in this crisis know we’re here for them,” explains Harris County Constable Precinct 2 Deputy E. Lister.
"I’ve seen a lot of people with smiles on their faces, very grateful and happy that we’re here,” adds Harris County Constable Precinct 2 Deputy L. White.
The church is now working with the Houston Food Bank to distribute necessities but Joseph House is short on water and canned goods.
“In spite of all that we’re going to persevere. We’re going to have the tenacity of holding out, do what we got to do and make sure the city goes into no kind of crisis behind food,” says Pastor Stearns.
The church is located on Jensen at Crosstimbers and will be giving items again throughout the week from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.