Randy Kruchten, Rotary Club of The Woodlands president, said the initial idea was to bring meals into hospitals, though as the coronavirus situation changed, the offer was declined due to the fear of the virus being brought into the facilities.
Instead, Kruchten said as of April 21, the club had delivered 424 meals to EMS; fire stations; constables; sheriffs; and Family Promise, which helps homeless families in the area, with an additional 224 anticipated through the remainder of the week.
"To quote one of the recipients of our meals, 'The kids weren't getting ramen noodles tonight and they were thrilled to get chocolate cake for desert,'" Kruchten said.
Kruchten said meals are purchased from Avenida Brazil Churrascaria Steakhouse, which regularly works with The Woodlands Rotary Club, Taco Cabana and Chick-fil-A.
"It became a win-win-win," Kruchten said. "The restaurants get business and they can pay their employees; the first responders realize the community appreciates everything they do for them; and Rotarians get to be Rotarians and help the community in any way they can."
The club has also expanded its coverage areas of deliveries to include Shenandoah and Oak Ridge North, as the club sponsors schools in the area. Kruchten said the food deliveries are anticipated to continue as long as coronavirus closures continue.
Aside from food deliveries, the Rotary Club has been hosting a weekly food drive for Interfaith of The Woodlands, donating food to Meals on Wheels, and established a relief fund for helping other nonprofits and charities in the area. Kruchten said they are also piloting a "hydration station" in St. Lukes The Woodlands Hospital for critical care staff, which will include water bottles, juice and Gatorade.
"We expect to roll it out to all six area hospitals soon," Kruchten said.
The Rotary Club of The Woodlands has set up an email for those interested in contributing to the relief fund, which can be found at WoodlandsRotaryClub@gmail.com.