Catholic Charities’ Mamie George Community Center in Richmond Transitions to Create Sustainable Plan for Addressing Community Need for Food During Pandemic

Brief facts:

  • Catholic Charities’ Mamie George Community Center in Richmond will begin distributing food over six hours on two Saturdays each month, starting August 29
  • Designated as Houston Food Bank Neighborhood Super Site
  • Large-scale food distribution at 1111 Collins Road, Richmond, TX 77469

Beginning Saturday, August 29, Catholic Charities’ Mamie George Community Center (MGCC) will transition its large-scale food distribution to all day Saturday events.

“The pandemic is creating an epic need for food in our community,” said MGCC Executive Director Gladys Brumfield-James.  “Because we don’t know how long this will go on, we are joining the Houston Food Bank in transitioning to a more sustainable schedule of food distribution.”

MGCC serves as one of the food bank’s “Super Sites,” so far helping an estimated 90,000 area residents who are struggling to keep food on the table during the COVID-19 pandemic.

MGCC’s food distribution will now move to every other Saturday, beginning August 29, from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.  On September 12 and 26, and October 10 and 24, hours will be 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

In addition to the Saturday drive-through food distributions, MGCC will serve targeted groups of clients on weekdays, to provide nutritional support to people in need who are enrolled in Catholic Charities programs.

“The need for food is overwhelming,” said food pantry coordinator Shayne Baker.  “We’re changing our schedule to ensure that we provide a high-quality experience for the people we serve.”

Nearly one in four people living in Richmond-Rosenberg lives in poverty – the highest poverty level in Fort Bend County, so economic loss from the pandemic is especially brutal in this area.  MGCC is located in the zip code with greatest need.

Before the pandemic, MGCC’s food pantry – Trini’s Market, a Houston Food Bank partner – provided 567,000 pounds of food in the last fiscal year through Saturday food fairs and weekday “shopping” in a grocery store-style environment.  When the pandemic began, MGCC transitioned to drive-through food distribution to maintain safety from COVID-19.

Each family in the drive-through line leaves with up to 60 pounds of food items provided through the Houston Food Bank: non-perishables (e.g., canned goods), fresh produce, frozen meats and fresh milk, loaded by volunteers who brave the Texas heat to feed hungry families.

“MGCC is grateful for our partnership with the Houston Food Bank,” said Brumfield-James.  “As one of their Super Sites, we receive a high volume of nutritious food of consistent quality for our clients.”

Families and individuals in need of food assistance should report to Mamie George Community Center, 1111 Collins Road, Richmond, TX, 77469, no earlier than a half hour before food distribution begins.  They will be directed by law enforcement and volunteers to staging areas to wait for service.

Families must register in advance through the Houston Food Bank’s system by texting 94502 with the letters HFBNSS as the message.  They will then be directed to fill out a form with information that’s kept confidential.  Families should be ready to show the survey completion screen when pulling into the MGCC parking lot

For information, visit CatholicCharities.org/COVIDFoodDistribution.  Anyone interested in volunteering should contact Dottie Bateman, 281-202-6222, dbateman@CatholicCharities.org.

About Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston
Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston brings help and hope to people in need, especially the poor and vulnerable.  Through a network of life-changing programs that work together to alleviate poverty, we serve 100,000 people each year from locations in Harris, Fort Bend and Galveston counties.  As the social services arm of the Archdiocese, we are guided by the Catholic faith to serve people of all beliefs in achieving self-sufficiency so they can live with dignity.  Catholic Charities is a United Way agency, founded in 1943.  We are people of faith, helping people in need.