Harris County Precinct 2 expands homebound senior food delivery program amid coronavirus outbreak

Harris County Precinct 2's meal delivery program for homebound seniors served 160 people prior to its expansion. (Courtesy of Harris County Precinct 2)
Harris County Precinct 2's meal delivery program for homebound seniors served 160 people prior to its expansion. (Courtesy of Harris County Precinct 2)

Harris County Precinct 2's meal delivery program for homebound seniors served 160 people prior to its expansion. (Courtesy of Harris County Precinct 2)

Harris County Precinct 2 residents will have increased access to food amid the coronavirus outbreak as officials spearhead efforts to expand existing meal delivery options for senior citizens in need.

Commissioner Adrian Garcia is expanding the precinct’s existing homebound senior daily free hot meal delivery program, according to an April 1 press release. Precinct 2 residents age 60 or older who possess limited resources and are unable to leave their home or perform basic cooking duties due to illness, disability, or lack of mobility are eligible for the program, per the release.

Those who enroll will receive daily, nutritious hot meals delivered directly to their door by Precinct 2 staff.

“During this crisis, we will not forget our most vulnerable residents of Precinct 2, such as homebound seniors,” Garcia said in the release. “Our current program is great, but I know there is going to be an increasing need for help, and we are preparing to meet the demand.”

People can register online or via the Precinct 2 hotline at 713-274-2222, which is active Mon.-Fri. 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. After submitting an application, a Precinct 2 representative will perform a home visit, evaluate applicants’ conditions and assess their ability to perform daily activities as well as their access to other assistance services. All information gathered is totally confidential, per the release.

More than 100 new signups have come in for the program since its expansion, and the precinct is in the process of verifying each applicant, said Scott Spiegel, press secretary for Garcia’s office. The program served 160 people before its expansion, he said.

None of the three other Harris County precincts currently manage a food senior homebound program like the one in Precinct 2, Spiegel said. The program, which is 30 years old, originated with Commissioner Jim Fonteno and is the product of a partnership between the precinct and nonprofit Precinct2gether.

The precinct is aiming to expand the program especially now, given the limitations placed on Precinct 2 residents with the coronavirus pandemic. Community liaisons within the precinct are working to further increase awareness of the program locally via social media and homeowners associations, Spiegel said.

“Knowing the precinct, there are others that could and would need this type of thing,” Spiegel said. “We’re an underserved area with a lot of folks that aren’t millionaires, to say the least, so there’s a lot of need that was there before coronavirus and is only going to get worse.”

Aside from the senior homebound meal delivery program, Precinct 2 also has been serving lunches in its parks for children Monday through Thursday afternoons. This week, 1,900 total lunches were served, Spiegel said.

Other opportunities for residents to receive fresh food include drive-by food pickups at community centers and popup produce giveaways, he added.

“Food is a big deal to the commissioner,” Spiegel said. “It’s a big, big deal for [him]. ... He doesn’t want anyone that is struggling to go hungry.”
By Colleen Ferguson
A native central New Yorker, Colleen Ferguson worked as an editorial intern with the Cy-Fair and Lake Houston | Humble | Kingwood editions of Community Impact before joining the Bay Area team in 2020. Colleen graduated from Syracuse University in 2019, where she worked for the campus's independent student newspaper The Daily Orange, with a degree in Newspaper and Online Journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and a degree in Spanish language and culture. Colleen previously interned with The Journal News/lohud, where she covered the commute in the greater New York City area.



Heading into Thanksgiving, Texas Medical Center continues to report uptick in hospitalizations

The total number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized at Texas Medical Center facilities has increased by more than 50% over two weeks.

Adelaide's sells items from local brands whenever possible, such as kits from The Heights-based My Drink Bomb. (Colleen Ferguson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Adelaide's Boutique stores strive to be ‘first-stop’ shops for gifts

The Adelaide’s Boutique locations—14870 Space Center Blvd., Houston, and 6011 W. Main St., League City—are meant to serve as customers’ destinations for clothes, shoes, accessories, gifts and other boutique items, many of which are locally sourced.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced a COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan for the state Nov. 23 for a vaccine he said could be available as soon as December. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announces COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan

The vaccine could start being distributed "as early as next month," according to a Nov. 23 news release.

"Remember, we don't want to invite COVID-19 to the dinner table," Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said at a Nov. 23 press conference urging caution amid rising COVID-19 positivity rates. (Screenshot via ABC13)
Mayor Sylvester Turner urges caution heading into Thanksgiving holiday

Houston officials also said 333 health providers had been identified as future vaccine delivery sites.

With remote learning opportunities becoming increasingly prevalent, CCISD is reviewing its flexible learning options—such as Cyber Cafe and the Clear Connections program—and examining current TEA guidelines to determine if changes are needed to any of these programs and policies. (Jake Magee/Community Impact Newspaper)
Clear Creek ISD updates: District adding new 2021-22 secondary courses, improving educational experiences

Five new secondary courses will be offered next school year; some courses will replace those previously offered, and some will be new courses altogether.

New guidance from the Texas Education Agency allows districts to require virtual learners who are failing classes or who have three or more unexcused absences to return to school in person. (Courtesy Canva)
Clear Creek ISD imposes grades-based restrictions on virtual learning

Although the Texas Education Agency allows schools to use attendance as a reason for mandating in-person learning with some students, CCISD officials chose to only focus on those who are academically struggling.

protestor in crowd with who police the police sign
New report: Houston police oversight board lagging behind major Texas cities

The report suggested having no oversight board has a better effect on public trust than having a dysfunctional board.

Laura Colangelo
Q&A: Laura Colangelo discusses challenges facing private schools during pandemic

Colangelo said private schools have adapted to remote learning and other obstacles in 2020 despite less revenue and a 9% decline in enrollment statewide.

Shake Shack opened its new standalone location at The Woodlands Mall in November. (Courtesy Christine Han)
Shake Shack opens in The Woodlands Mall and more Houston-area updates

Read the latest business and community news from the Greater Houston area.

While Harris County has a large oil and gas presence, it is trying to grow its solar energy presence as well. (Courtesy Adobe stock)
Harris County Precinct 2 works toward growth of solar energy presence

This includes the presence of jobs, education and infrastructure in the solar energy industry.

The Skeeters will be the first-ever independent baseball league team to become an MLB team's Triple-A affiliate. (Courtesy Sugar Land Skeeters)
Sugar Land Skeeters selected as Triple-A affiliate for Houston Astros

In joining the Houston Astros organization, the Sugar Land Skeeters will be the first-ever independent baseball league team to become an MLB team's Triple-A affiliate.