Local food pantries in Pearland see decrease in supplies due to coronavirus concerns

Local nonprofits are seeing a dip in donations due to coronavirus concerns. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Local nonprofits are seeing a dip in donations due to coronavirus concerns. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Local nonprofits are seeing a dip in donations due to coronavirus concerns. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

With coronavirus concerns mounting, many people are stocking up at local grocery stores. But buying additional products has a consequence: Some food pantries and nonprofits are seeing a decrease in donations.

“We get products like day-old bread, or when [grocery stores] have stuff like milk that is about to expire. Because there has been a huge rush in all the stores, those products are gobbled up,” Christian Helping Hands founder Hita Dickson said.

Christian Helping Hands has operated in Pearland for 35 years. The organization provides food to the less fortunate in the community and is solely run by volunteers.

The nonprofit has volunteers that go from Christian Helping Hands to grocery stores to pick up the nonprofit’s daily wares. Volunteers said they used to go back and forth three times with trucks full of groceries, but they have only been going back two times, she said.

“It’s just kind of hard to figure out,” Dickson said.


The virus has caused a shortage of volunteers as well. Over 50% of the volunteers at Christian Helping Hands are over 60, and some have chosen to stay away due to coronavirus concerns, Dickson said.

“We had 32 families that represented 127 people yesterday with a skeleton [volunteer] crew,” Dickson said.

The 32 families Christian Helping Hands saw on Monday was an average number for the nonprofit even before coronavirus hit. While the nonprofit did not receive any bread to give people, there was an influx of carrots and apples from the Houston Food Bank, Dickson said.

Churches also typically donate to the nonprofit as well, although Hickson is expecting fewer donations, as many churches have cancelled services to stop the spread of the virus.

When the coronavirus outbreak hit, Dickson was afraid the nonprofit would have to have cops present while giving away food to people to manage the crowds. Instead, people were respectful and kept distance from one another and the volunteers, Dickson said.

“Everybody is so calm about it. They’re just happy to have some place to go and say, ‘OK, I can make a meal out of this,’” Dickson said.

Despite the decrease of food, Christian Helping Hands is staying open, Dickson said. The nonprofit is also trying to make sure to sanitize the area as much as possible, Dickson said.

“I think right now, we are following as many rules as the CDC says to do, and that’s what we’re going to stick with. We’re going to try to keep it as fluid as possible,” she said.
By Haley Morrison
Haley Morrison came to Community Impact Newspaper in 2017 after graduating from Baylor University. She was promoted to editor in February 2019. Haley primarily covers city government.


MOST RECENT

(Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Texas Medical Center coronavirus updates: Average testing positivity rate nears 10% after sharp increase

Over 97% of people nationwide who are being hospitalized because of the disease are unvaccinated.

Six Friendswood citizens were honored in Hope Village's fundraiser. (Haley Morrison/Community Impact Newspaper)
Hope Village honors residents from 12 Houston-area cities in 'Faces of Hope' fundraiser

Nominees received yard signs that were out on lawns for approximately two weeks in July.

As variants are isolated and identified, Houston Methodist's Dr. Ian Glass believes the vaccines available can handle identified variants (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
'The vaccines we have are effective against all the variants out there': Houston Methodist's Dr. Ian Glass discusses variants, vaccinations

As Houston Methodist identified its first case of the lambda variant July 19, Dr. Glass believes vaccines can handle known variants.

(Jake Magee/Community Impact Newspaper)
Clear Creek ISD trustees to vote on district's 2021-22 compensation, benefits plan July 26

The proposed plan includes a 3% salary increase for all employees.

As variants are isolated and identified, Houston Methodist's Dr. Ian Glass believes the vaccines available can handle identified variants. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Here is how Galveston County's COVID-19 positivity rates, infection patterns compare year over year

The county was in the middle of a second wave of coronavirus infections in July 2020. One year later, an outbreak has affected more than 150 county residents and marked the emergence of the delta variant.

Peter Lake (left), chair of the Public Utility Commission of Texas, and Brad Jones, interim president and CEO of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, provided an update on state regulators' electric grid redesign efforts in Austin on July 22. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Regulators: Texas electric grid prepared for potentially record-breaking demand next week; 'once-in-a-generation reforms' underway

The heads of the agencies in charge of the Texas electric grid met in Austin on July 22 to provide updates on their grid reform efforts.

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo is pleading with residents to be more vigilant, asking all residents to start wearing masks again in indoor settings and asking those who are vaccinated to urge their friends who are not to get the shot. (Screenshot Courtesy Facebook)
Harris County raises coronavirus threat level as Hidalgo asks all residents to mask up indoors

Although those who are vaccinated are very unlikely to end up in the hospital, officials said wearing masks in certain situations could help reduce transmissions to the more susceptible unvaccinated.

The Pearland Entertainment and Beverage Coalition, the organization in charge of circulating the petition, needed to garner 15,050 signatures in 60 days. It got roughly 18,000. (Coutesy Adobe Stock)
Petition aiming to change alcohol laws in Pearland achieves signatures requirement

A citizen-led petition met the signature requirement needed for the city of Pearland to potentially allow entertainment businesses, or businesses that make more than 51% of their revenue in alcohol sales, to come to the city.

Memorial Hermann has locations throughout the Greater Houston area, including Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Medical Center. (Courtesy Memorial Hermann)
Memorial Hermann visiting policies change as COVID-19 cases rise

As of July 21, Memorial Hermann has changed its visitor policy in light of a recent increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in the Greater Houston area.

Houston unemployment is above state and national levels, while home sales in the region continue to be strong, according to a July 21 economic update from the Greater Houston Partnership. (Emma Whalen/Community Impact Newspaper)
Unemployment, strong housing sales mark 2021 Houston economy, Greater Houston Partnership says

While Houston job recovery lags due to the pandemic, area home sales are strong, according to the Greater Houston Partnership.