By George Slaughter
The food drive will be staged Saturday and Sunday at two Harris County Emergency Service District 48 stations: Station 4, at 22855 Franz Rd., and Station 5, at 21201 Morton Rd. Suggested food items include canned chili, canned fruit, canned pasta sauce, and canned vegetables, along with cereal, cooking oil, macaroni and cheese, and one-pound pasta packages.
Suggested personal care items include baby wipes, size-5 and size-6 diapers, shampoo, bar soap, deodorant, liquid hand soap, paper towels, toilet paper, powdered laundry soap or pods, and Depends diapers (large and extra-large sizes).
Suggested snacks for kids include granola bars, fruit cups, juice boxes, and snack packs (chips, cookies, or crackers).
Krissy Viau, Katy Christian Ministries food pantry director, said the need is worse now than it was following Hurricane Harvey in 2017 because of the uncertainty about when the pandemic will end.
“A lot of people were afraid (when the pandemic started) because they didn’t know what was happening,” Viau said. “Their hours have been cut, or they lost their jobs, or they have relatives living with them now.”
While this weekend’s drive will focus on collecting food, Viau said people are also needing help when it comes to making rent and utility payments. Those people are asked to contact Katy Christian Ministries and leave a message. Viau said the casework has increased due to the pandemic, but someone will reach out to those needing help.
The Katy Leo Club has partnered with the Harris County Emergency Services District to collect the food for Katy Christian Ministries.
The Katy Lions Club sponsors the Leo Club, which has 37 members. Leos, as they are called, are students ages 12-17, and perform community activities similar to Lions Club members. Nancy Chesbro, the Leo Club advisor, has been advising the students for the past 2½ years. She described the Leos as “pretty active,” though like other organizations, they’ve met via Zoom instead of face-to-face during the pandemic.
“The students seem to be very well-versed,” Chesbro said. “We run it like an ordinary club. They elect their own officers and we run membership drives.”
Chesbro said the Leos have participated in book drives, and at Christmas have sang and delivered homemade Christmas cards to the Legacy at Falcon Point senior living facility at 1520 Katy Gap Road.
“We are hoping we can do this again before school starts,” Chesbro said.
Viau described the Leos as the “young Lions,” and added it was awesome that they were participating in the food drive.
“They’re going to get a great taste of being part of the community, and see how giving everyone is to each other,” Viau said. “I think they’re going to be proud of themselves for what they’re doing.”
Those hoping to make donations but cannot do so this weekend are encouraged to visit the Katy Christian Ministries office at 5506 1st St. Business hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Thursday.
“This has touched everyone,” Viau said. “People that were in a higher income bracket, they never thought they’d be affected by something that just suddenly happened to them like this. They need help to buy groceries and they never needed help before. You can’t just look at them because they have a nice car and not think they don’t need the food.”
Chesbro said the Leos are always looking for new members and ideas for community service activities. For more information, contact Chesbro at email@example.com.