Missy Herndon, president and CEO of Interfaith of The Woodlands, said the organization is utilizing community partnerships with various organizations, such as the Montgomery County Food Bank, The Woodlands United Methodist Church and United Way, to continue serving the area.
So far, Herndon said the nonprofit has prepared relief bags, which contain essentials for around five meals and toiletries, for 200 families. The process, however, has depleted Interfaith of The Woodlands' food pantry, and additional donations are needed in order to restock.
"We placed orders last week to prepare for this with grocery stores and the food bank," Herndon said. "The food bank feels confident they are going to be able to fill our order, but we are double ordering knowing this is going to be a crisis that goes on for weeks."
Along with the meal preparations, Herndon said Interfaith of The Woodlands is continuing its grocery delivery program for area seniors, which affects around 140 people. Other volunteer activities have been suspended, however, and Herndon said current activities are being completed by Interfaith of The Woodlands staff.
Allison Hulett, CEO of Montgomery County Food Bank, said the food bank is currently distributing food through its partner agencies, such as Interfaith of The Woodlands and independent food districts. Safety protocols have been put in place for both staff and volunteers for the time being.
"What we want to do is support our partners to distribute the groceries to those in need as safely as possible," Hulett said. "The need is rising every day."
Hulett said the best way to help the food bank is either through virtual food drives, food for which can be dropped off at the food bank at 1 Food For Life Way, Conroe, or through volunteering. Information regarding the Montgomery County Food Bank's response to coronavirus can be found here.
Herndon said if community members wish to continue supporting Interfaith, the best way to do so is by donating money so the nonprofit can purchase the food it needs for supply bags.
Looking ahead, Interfaith of The Woodlands has temporarily suspended closed its Hand Me Up Shop and preschool, and meetings for rent, mortgage and utility assistance that are usually done in person are being scheduled to be done over the phone.
"Our biggest goal is to keep our community as healthy as possible," Herndon said. "We will be continuing to help the families in crisis, particularly with food and assistance, as well as helping our seniors. We just ask people to look for ways to be a part locally, even from their homes. There are so many ways to help, ... and the need is only going to continue to get greater.