Richmond’s Mamie George Community Center (MGCC) recently surpassed the two million-pound mark in food distribution since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. MGCC is the hub for services provided by Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, including food and financial assistance, and a robust program for seniors.
“During the pandemic, Catholic Charities is distributing four times as much food as usual to families in need,” said Gladys Brumfield-James, MGCC executive director. “The lines are long for help from our food pantry, because COVID-19 drained resources for families all across Fort Bend County.”
Brumfield-James notes that the center is seeing many families who were financially stable before the pandemic, but lost jobs and wages reduced their savings and plunged them into crisis. “We’ve had people coming in who never thought they would be struggling to feed their families,” said Brumfield-James.
The community mobilized to distribute 2,110,400 pounds of food over nine months from the center in Richmond. The Houston Food Bank provided food. Scores of volunteers reported week after week to help load cases of fresh produce, protein items and non-perishables into long lines of vehicles. The Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Department provided officers to untangle traffic. And the center’s neighbors opened their parking lots as staging areas.
In all, the effort fed 154,341 Fort Bend families in need.
For seniors and other clients who are unable to leave their homes during the pandemic, MGCC is working with DoorDash to make deliveries of food to homebound clients through a program funded by the United Way of Greater Houston. In addition, center staff and volunteers have been checking in with senior clients on a regular basis since the pandemic began.
MGCC will continue to distribute food as the pandemic wears on. Starting on January 5, 2021, the center will transition from a first-come, first-served approach to allow families to make appointments to receive nutritious food. Families will still be served in the safety of their vehicles via drive-through distribution, receiving food that will be reserved for each family.
Appointments can be made for Tuesday through Thursday mornings by visiting CatholicCharities.org/food. For additional information, call 281-202-6289.