As flood conditions slowly improve in some areas of the state and clean-up crews work to make communities accessible, The Salvation Army continues to increase mobile feeding efforts in Texas. With 71 mobile kitchens from Texas and beyond now available for deployment The Salvation Army relief teams are able to reach more people with emergency services each day.
“Every team being deployed in Texas can provide food, hydration, and emotional and spiritual care to those impacted by this weather event,” said Lt. Col. Ronnie Raymer, Divisional Commander for The Salvation Army in Texas. “We’re uniquely positioned to provide support and relief to Houston and communities along the Gulf Coast.”
The Incident Command Team deployed from Florida to Texas arrived in Houston mid-morning Tuesday and quickly established an Incident Command Center at the Northwest Corps. In addition to the eight-person leadership team, two shower trailers also arrived from Florida, each containing eight individual shower stalls. These units are stationed at the Matzke Elementary school that is currently housing 500 evacuees. Two mobile bunk houses are also in place and ready to be deployed.
Greater Houston area service highlights:
- Pasadena Corps – housing 60 people on Tuesday, 140 less than on Monday.
- Harbor Light/Red Shield Lodge – sheltering close to 250 evacuees, exceeding normal capacity by 175 people. Typically limited to only a men’s shelter, exceptions have been made to house displaced families from the neighborhood. In addition to a dry, safe place to sleep, storm survivors are provided with clean clothes and hygiene kits.
- International Corps continues to serve as a distribution center providing 35 blankets, 268 cases of water and 450 meals, snacks and drinks.
- Five mobile kitchens were in operation on Tuesday with an additional six units arriving from Kentucky and Tennessee on Tuesday evening.
In the Corpus Christi/Coastal Bend area, feeding operations expanded Tuesday with 11 mobile kitchens serving in the following communities:
- Port Aransas
- Aransas Pass
- North Corpus Christi
Many of these communities have been without power since Hurricane Harvey made landfall on Saturday and several cities remain without running water.
The Divisional Commanders of The Salvation Army Texas Division, Lt. Colonels Ronnie & Sharon Raymer, visited operations in Rockport today, the first day of mobile kitchen service in this community. A resident approached The Salvation Army mobile kitchen crew while they were setting up to provide lunch and with tears filling his eyes said, “I knew you would come.”
After seeing first-hand the devastation caused by the storm, Lt. Colonel Ronnie Raymer said, “The need is great here in Rockport and indeed all along the Texas coastline. We hope to send multiple feeding units in the coming days to support the residents of this hurting community who have already been through so much and lost a great deal. Our love and prayers go out to each of them.”
Other Salvation Army operations:
- The shelter at the Dallas Convention Center opened Wednesday morning and by 6:00 PM housed a little more than 200 evacuees with numbers expected to increase. The Salvation Army of Dallas Fort Worth provided meals for survivors, staff and volunteers.
- A shelter opened at The Salvation Army in Waco.
- Kerrville team is serving meals at two local evacuation shelters
- The Salvation Army Center of Hope in Temple is operating a shelter
- A shelter opened at The Salvation Army in Tyler.
- Amarillo – Toot’n Totum has partnered with The Salvation Army in the Texas Panhandle to raise funds to support Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. They will have 108 countertop kettles at more than 80 locations (Toot’n Totum gas station and convenience stores, Mr. Payrolls, and Car Care Centers). Toot’n Totum will match the first $5,000 raised.
- Additional response units are staged in San Antonio and Dallas preparing for deployment as areas become accessible.
As of Tuesday evening, August 29, 18,483 meals, 17,204 snacks, and 16,640 drinks have been provided.
To make a financial donation to support the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts please go to www.helpsalvationarmy.org, call 1-800- SAL-ARMY, text STORM to 51555.