Two years ago, The Abundant Harvest was just a dream on GoFundMe for food truck missioner Molly Carr. As of early April, the food truck had served 1,625 meals and given away 15,410 pounds of perishable food to those in need in the Greater Houston area in less than three months.
Spearheaded by Carr and St. Isidore Episcopal Rev. Sean Steele, The Abundant Harvest is an outpost of the Woodlands-based church whose congregation meets at various locations in Montgomery County.
“The idea is that we want to have disaster relief when those events happen, we want to address food insecurity and nutrition education, and we want to transform our community by gathering people around the table and communicating abundance, respect and love,” Steele said.
The truck, which was designed to feed a lot of people in a short amount of time, features a mobile food pantry with perishable items not typically found in traditional food pantries, such as fresh produce, bread and meat. The truck does not have a deep fryer, as one of the organization’s goals is to promote healthy habits.
“All of our events have a food component because the table is the great equalizer—we all get hungry for food and for belonging,” Carr said. “It doesn’t matter how you’re dressed or what your job is, because in real life, we’re all at the same table. When I serve you food, I am showing you that I think you are valued and worthy, and I want you to share your story.”
Some of these events include Laundry Love, during which the food truck serves brunch while participants do their laundry at a local laundromat, dinners for food-insecure college students, and holiday-centered events like Ashes-To-Go, during which participants had breakfast and worship on Ash Wednesday.
The nonprofit welcomes people of all walks of life and socio-economic backgrounds to attend events.
“There are a significant number of families in The Woodlands that are two paychecks away from homelessness,” Steele said. “Since the oil and gas downturn, there are people who have been looking for jobs for the past 12, 14 and even 16 months. There’s a lot more need in here than most people want to recognize or admit.”
Carr and Steele agreed the truck’s operations would not be possible without the generosity of the community as well as a local grocer, which makes weekly donations of unsalable food to the nonprofit.
In addition to reaching a level of sustainability, Carr and Steele said their future plans for the nonprofit food truck include partnering with local Section 8 housing, training at-risk youths in the kitchen and continuing to build the nonprofit’s volunteer and donation base.
“We’re trying to create a transformed community, and if we can communicate that through abundance, then we’re doing what we’ve been called to do,” Steele said.