South Austin catering company spearheads grassroots volunteer effort to feed victims of Hurricane Harvey

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A Southwest Austin-based catering company was among the throngs of volunteers assisting with disaster relief in late August by bringing food, water and supplies to survivors of Hurricane Harvey.

A Category 4 storm, Hurricane Harvey made landfall Aug. 24. Flood and wind damage forced thousands in Houston and along the Gulf coast to flee their homes and neighborhoods.

Upon hearing of the destruction, the owners of Royal Fig Catering, Dan and Kristen Stacy, organized a team of staff and friends to hand out food, water and supplies to people in the affected communities.

“We saw everything unfolding that weekend [Aug. 25-27], and Dan asked if I thought it was crazy to load up vans of food and water and take it out there,” Kristen said. “I thought it was crazy, but it was such a great idea. He’s always been [a giving]type of person.”

Each day the Stacys stocked their vans with freshly prepared food, and with the help of their staff and other local catering vendors, they said they handed out about 1,700 plates of food over a four-day period.

“We started with one day, that Monday [Aug. 28],” Dan said. “But then we saw how much it meant to the people in those areas and decided to keep it going. Those people were just overjoyed when they saw us roll up.”

Partners in the effort included Lone Star Meats; Lox, Box and Barrel; Antonelli’s Cheese Shop; and The Cupcake Bar, which helped the Stacys to bring plates of food as well as diapers, water, baby formula, wipes, bottles and everyday toiletries to those in need.

On Aug. 28 the team worked in Bloomington, which is located about 30 miles north of Rockport. People living in the area were without food, water and power, and many of their homes were severely damaged in the storm, Dan said.

The following three days the group assisted with relief efforts in Houston, catering first to staff at the Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands and then to volunteers and people living in the Humble and Friendswood area.

Kristen said they chose those areas after soliciting advice on Facebook about which communities were in need of the most help.

As recovery efforts continue, the Stacys said the need of survivors has shifted from food and water to cleaning and construction supplies. The team has no immediate plans to return but hopes the volunteer efforts around the state will continue.

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Luz Moreno-Lozano
Luz Moreno-Lozano is the Southwest Austin and Travis County reporter. Luz began working with Community Impact Newspaper in April 2017 after serving as the news editor for Cornerstone Publications in Castroville for three years. She graduated from Texas A&M University in 2013.
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