Increase in families needing food donations during COVID-19 pandemic

Food pantries across the Houston area are seeing a growing demand of families in need because of the pandemic.

On Monday, a line of cars was noticeable outside Katy Christian Ministries as people waited for food. Many of those in line are now unemployed because of coronavirus COVID-19.

“This whole pandemic didn’t discriminate,” said Chris Williams, a father of 4. “To the affluent, to the poor. It didn’t matter.”

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Williams worked in the oil and gas industry. According to the Houston-area resident, he lost his job within the last few weeks.

“I was allowed to work from home for a little while, but that ended,” said Williams. “Now, we’re just trying to survive and weather the storm.”

Katy Christian Ministries (KCM) is a charity organization that serves more than a million pounds of food to those in need every year.

According to KCM members, they’re noticing a significantly higher amount of people needing assistance with food now, compared to normal.

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“It’s a pandemic,” said Deysi Crespo from KCM. “We are here to help our brothers and sisters, our neighbors in our community. That’s our mission.”

On Monday, we visited the Houston Food Bank. While they’re well-stocked right now with food, they also have noticed much higher demand within the last few weeks.

“The lines are longer for this, then they were after [Hurricane] Harvey,” said Brian Greene, President of Houston’s Food Bank. “Harvey impacted about 15 percent of households directly. Not because of the pandemic, but because of the economic consequences as well, that number is significantly higher.”

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The amount of families in need seems to be growing across Texas and the country.

“Lower-income households don’t have reserves to fall up on,” said Greene. “They’re going to be in greater need.”

It’s a tough issue to swallow for many families, but they appreciate the assistance.

“We’re Just wanting to get through this tough time that we’re all facing,” said Williams. “Once you wake up in the morning, there is something to put a smile on your face. For me, I’ve learned that attitude of gratitude is the best one to have.”

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If you’re interested in donating to the Houston Food Bank, or volunteering, click here.