We want to update the residents of Galveston County on how the Galveston County Food Bank is dealing with the coronavirus in our community. As you can imagine if you’ve been to your local supermarket in the last week, we too at the food bank are facing similar issues with all the uncertainties surrounding all that has transpired.

We’re facing mobile sites canceling because of the “no more than 10 gathering rule” and then we have mobile sites wanting to double up and new groups wanting to start a mobile, so we’re being flexible with the logistics of delivering the food.

Because we “just” deliver the food to mobile sites, some have chosen to pre-bag the food, so people don’t have to wait. But we don’t make those rules or guidelines. We still have many partner agencies who haven’t stopped their mobile food fairs. True, they always have been and continue to be an integral part of our daily operation while continuing serving our community.

The good news is that we have food, we have an awesome staff that’s flexible and willing to do whatever needs to be done to get food in the hands of the people that need it. Our food pantry in Texas City, already a large undertaking, is seeing even more folks accessing our pantry. Again, we are now handling this like a restaurant “take out.” Our clients come in one at a time, register and are given a number and then exit the building.

The client then gives the number to the food bank volunteer and receives pre-bagged groceries. This way we’re complying with social-distancing measures. Our onsite pantry is seeing an increase of new and first-time visitors of upwards of 50 new families a day, and we’ve been able to accommodate all of them. We’re also getting requests from elderly that are isolated during this time needing assistance, and we continue to work to serve all of their needs.

And finally, we’re working with local school districts to similarly get food into the hands of children and their families. Many children in our community are on free and reduced-price lunch. Not being in attendance at school is creating another hardship for many families. With the support of school superintendents, administrators and teacher volunteers, we will soon have distribution taking place on select school campuses.

If you or someone you know needs food, please contact us, and we will help them. We’re doing all we can to make sure no one goes hungry in Galveston County.

Many people have come to volunteer and gave so freely of their time. While large volunteer groups are no longer being permitted as Galveston County officials discourage group gatherings, we still have the capacity to safely receive help from volunteers, and we can’t do it without them. Please contact us if you can help in any way. Volunteer, donate money or drop off food items. For information, visit www.galvestoncountyfoodbank.org.

We continue to work closely with the Houston Food Bank, Feeding Texas and all of our aligned agencies daily. Together, we will weather this serious health threat.

And, please thoroughly wash your hands often.

Armin Cantini is vice chairman, and Rick Wade is chairman of the Galveston County Food Bank board of directors.

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(1) comment

Erika Barragan

What the Food Bank does for the community is wonderful. Thank you for all you do. Does anyone know if there is somewhere on the Island that parents of small children and seniors in need can go? Maybe our churches are already taking care of them? Nextdoor groups provide a great vehicle to get the information out. Can someone with this information post a reply?

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