UPDATED: South Montgomery County nonprofits, community groups strategize to maintain services amid emergency declarations

Montgomery County Food Bank provides food and other resources to more than 35,000 people each month. (Courtesy Montgomery County Food Bank)
Montgomery County Food Bank provides food and other resources to more than 35,000 people each month. (Courtesy Montgomery County Food Bank)

Montgomery County Food Bank provides food and other resources to more than 35,000 people each month. (Courtesy Montgomery County Food Bank)

Updated 3:45 p.m.

Meals on Wheels Montgomery County said in a March 13 letter to staff its home-delivered meals program has been the least affected of its programs since the region began to respond to concerns about the coronavirus outbreak. However, the organization is taking measures to ensure cross-contamination does not occur during meal delivery. Executive Director Summer Day said its three congregate centers—in The Woodlands, Magnolia and New Caney—are closed, and only the East County facility in New Caney has identified clients that will need supplementary nourishment. Those will be delivered through Precinct 4 Commissioner James Mett’s office, according to the organization.

The letter stated the outbreak has had a greater effect on the the MOWMC transportation department, as more clients are staying at home and not using public transportation.

1:19 p.m.

As residents and businesses in south Montgomery County adjust to recent declarations of emergency at the county and state level, community organizations are working to maintain current services where possible or gauging how to reschedule events in the upcoming weeks.


"We currently are not changing the way we serve our clients [and] Montgomery County neighbors in need," said Lauren DeGeorgio, marketing and communications director for Montgomery County Food Bank. "We work closely with our partner agencies and school districts to serve our clients, and COVID-19 has only strengthened that partnership. The health and safety of our partners, clients, volunteers and staff is always our No. 1 priority. As a precaution, we have increased our on-site cleaning regimen to mitigate risk—specifically, workstations and public spaces."

The
food bank collects and supplies food and resources to more than 35,000 people each month.

DeGeorgio said the food bank is monitoring the situation closely and working with other area food organizations, including Houston Food Bank and the Feeding America network, and looking to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for guidelines and protocols. It also has a tool on its website for people who need food assistance to find a pantry near them.

Another local food resource, The Woodlands Farmers Market, which is held at Grogans Mill Shopping Center on Saturdays, has suspended the next two weeks of events due to social distancing recommendations from Montgomery County, according to posts on social media.

In a Facebook post, farmers market organizers stated, "
At this time, closing the market for [two] weeks is the best course of action due to heightened concerns around coronavirus. Again, there is no specific concern regarding [the farmers market]. We will send another email to update closer to March 28."

A Twitter post echoed the message.




However, The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce plans to continue with its scheduled events.

"We are going to continue to do our events going forward because they are smaller events, they are not over the 250-person threshold set by the county," chamber President J.J. Hollie said in a phone interview March 13. "We’re going to take an immense number of precautions to protect people."

Precautions include making hand sanitizer available throughout events and signage encourage people to observe proper hygiene practices. Events with food will have servers dishing out items so that utensils are not shared, he said. Events will also be limited to 75 people, he said.

"This area ... has gone through some real challenges," Hollie said. "But we always make it through to the other side, and we regroup, we adjust, we make the changes that we need to, and we always come out on the other side and, in a lot of cases, better."

Editor's note: This is an evolving story and will be continuously updated as more information from area organizations becomes available.

Vanessa Holt Andrew Christman



MOST RECENT

The text of General Order No. 3, which Gordon Granger issued from Galveston in June 1865 to explicitly liberate enslaved Black Texans, runs across the bottom of the mural. (Colleen Ferguson/Community Impact Newspaper)
‘I am filled’: Houston-Galveston area celebrates first Juneteenth as federal holiday

See how local policymakers, historians, artists and philanthropists honored the Juneteenth holiday at its birthplace with the dedication of a 5,000-square-foot mural.

The Township has until Aug. 16 to decide whether to put incorporation on the ballot or not for the November 2021 election. (Vanessa Holt/Community Impact Newspaper)
The Woodlands Area Chamber to vote on resolution recommending delay of incorporation vote

The resolution will come to the full board of The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce for a vote on July 2.

The Texas Central rail connection from Dallas to Houston will feature a bullet train similar to this one. (Courtesy Texas Central Partners/Community Impact Newspaper)
Texas Supreme Court declines to review high-speed rail case, freeing company up to use eminent domain

Texas Central, the company looking to build a 236-mile high-speed rail line connecting Houston and Dallas, has been given a big win in an ongoing legal battle over whether the company is legally recognized as a "railroad company" under state law.

There will be various events across the Houston area celebrating the Fourth of July, including League City's Fireworks Extravaganza. (Courtesy of League City)
12 Fourth of July weekend events, celebrations to attend in the Greater Houston area

Here are 12 Fourth of July weekend events throughout the Houston region.

(Courtesy Bojangles)
Bojangles announces three Houston locations

The fast food chain offers fried chicken and biscuits, and will be coming to The Woodlands, Humble and Conroe.

Services, specializations separate these 11 hospitals in The Woodlands area

Here's a look at some of the hospitals and medical centers serving The Woodlands area.

Don Norrell presented information about water and sewer utilities in post-incorporation scenarios at the June 17 meeting of The Woodlands Township board of directors. (Vanessa Holt/Community Impact Newspaper)
The Woodlands Township resumes incorporation study planning meetings

Incorporation planning meetings resumed June 17 in The Woodlands Township after being placed on hold in March 2020.

The spiced chicken puff pastries come with shredded chicken, garam masala and vegetables wrapped in a puff pastry and topped with creamy jalapeno sauce. (Courtesy Philipose's Kitchen & Bar)
Philipose's Kitchen & Bar now serving American southern-inspired food in Magnolia

Philipose's Kitchen & Bar opened in early March and offers dine-in, take-out and online ordering.

Two new businesses have been announced for Hughes Landing. (Courtesy The Howard Hughes Corp.)
Howard Hughes Corp. announces two new businesses for Hughes Landing

The Pretty Kitty and Roots Dental Studio are anticipated to open in the near future.

Montgomery County collects local feedback on thoroughfare plan predicting future traffic, growth

Montgomery County officials sought community feedback on the county’s thoroughfare plan through mid-June, updating the previous plan from 2016.

Oak Ridge North City Council met for a regular meeting June 14. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Oak Ridge North to build $2M public works facility

The total cost to build the new facility is estimated to be around $2 million.