Montgomery County Food Bank seeking volunteers following National Guard departure

Members of the DCo 536th BSB TX Army National Guard and 147th Attack Wing TX Air Guard sort and pack boxes at the Montgomery County Food Bank. (Courtesy Liz Grimm/Montgomery County Food Bank)
Members of the DCo 536th BSB TX Army National Guard and 147th Attack Wing TX Air Guard sort and pack boxes at the Montgomery County Food Bank. (Courtesy Liz Grimm/Montgomery County Food Bank)

Members of the DCo 536th BSB TX Army National Guard and 147th Attack Wing TX Air Guard sort and pack boxes at the Montgomery County Food Bank. (Courtesy Liz Grimm/Montgomery County Food Bank)

After three months of assistance from the Texas Army National Guard, the Montgomery County Food Bank is seeking volunteers to cover the nearly 125%-increased demand in services due to coronavirus.

John Tindall, Montgomery County Food Bank director of volunteers, said volunteer capacities are being limited to 27 people per shift from 9 a.m.-noon and 1-4 p.m. in accordance with coronavirus safety guidelines.

"That's 10 in each of our large sort rooms and seven in our produce rescue center," Tindall said. "In an ideal world, we would have all 27 spots filled for each of the shifts."

According to a press release, the food bank had been receiving help from 44 Texas National Guard troops as part of the state's response to coronavirus. However, the troops' agreement to help expired July 16 following the end of an order from Gov. Gregg Abbott.

"Being activated to help with the COVID[-19] pandemic was a shock to me, but even more so, [it] was a shock to help out my hometown,” said Lt. Andrew Taylor of the DCo 536th BSB TX Army National Guard in the press release. “I grew up in Montgomery County, and to be able to give my time and expertise back into the community that allowed me to become the person I am today is very impactful. I now know the importance of the Montgomery County Food Bank and the need in this community. My team and I are very grateful to be able to serve right alongside these food bank warriors."


Tindall said there is an increased demand for volunteers now that the troops are gone, and the core volunteer group for the food bank is generally individuals age 55 and up, an age group that is among the most susceptible for coronavirus.


"We still need to get the food organized, sorted and boxed properly to get out to the 35,000 people in the county that we feed every month," Tindall said. "We also have an increased demand for our mobile markets, which are outdoor volunteer projects throughout the county to help distribute the products in the field."

Those who wish to volunteer can sign up on the food bank's website. Volunteers are asked to be 14 days symptom-free from coronavirus, to answer a brief questionnaire when arriving for a shift, to take part in a temperature screening and to wash their hands. All visitors to the food bank are required to wear masks as well.

Over the past three months, the Montgomery County Food Bank has distributed 4.1 million pounds of food as compared to the 1.5 million pounds it distributed in the same time frame in 2019.
By Andrew Christman
Andrew joined Community Impact Newspaper in early 2019 after moving from Indiana. He is a 2015 graduate from Indiana State University, where he received degrees in English and journalism. He has written for a number of small town publications throughout his career as a reporter.


MOST RECENT

The Woodlands Township board of directors held a virtual meeting Sept. 23. (Screenshot via The Woodlands Township)
The Woodlands Township plans to begin holding in-person board meetings again in October

After six months of virtual meetings, The Woodlands Township board of directors meetings will resume in-person with several safety precautions and screening procedures in place.

Gov. Greg Abbott at a press conference
Gov. Greg Abbott to allocate $171M from CARES Act to help renters at risk of eviction

Gov. Greg Abbott will allocate more than $171 million in renters assistance from the federal coronavirus relief package to eligible Texans.

Menu items include fried, grilled and boiled seafood platters as well as Cajun staples ranging from gumbo and shrimp etouffee to boudin balls and po'boys. (Courtesy The Catch)
Cajun eatery The Catch coming to Willowbrook and more Houston news

Read the latest Houston-area business and community news.

The North Houston Highway Improvement Project proposes re-routing I-45 through the East End and Fifth Ward and expanding it through the Northside. (Nathan Colbert/Community Impact Newspaper)
TxDOT releases environmental report, a pivotal step in I-45 rebuild

The report is one of the final steps before the project rerouting much of I-45 through downtown can begin.

2020 voter guide, i voted sticker
November 2020 election: Here are the candidates on the ballot for Harris County local races

Your guide to voting locations and who's on the ballot for Harris County races this November.

Fewer than 500 COVID-19 patients—478—are currently checked in at Texas Medical Center hospitals. (Community Impact staff)
Texas Medical Center COVID-19 hospitalizations drop 30% in three weeks

Fewer than 500 COVID-19 patients—478—are currently checked in at Texas Medical Center hospitals.

Materials for the Houston Planning Commission meeting scheduled Sept. 17 showed map views of Mitchell Island, where The Howard Hughes Corp. has plans to build 58 houses. (Courtesy Houston Planning Commission)
Opposition to high-density housing on Mitchell Island spurs discussion at The Woodlands meeting

After resident outcry against a possible high-density residential development on Mitchell Island, The Woodlands Township agreed to place the item on an October meeting agenda.

Conroe and Montgomery County firefighters assigned to Strike Team 143 are assisting California departments with containing Creek Fire, the largest single fire in California's history. Crews from the Porter Fire Department are assigned to the August Complex, which is the largest fire in the state's history, as of Sept. 23. (Courtesy Conroe Fire Department)
Montgomery County firefighters battle largest single wildfire in California’s history

Creek Fire has ravaged 289,695 acres, damaged 71 structures and destroyed 855 others. Exhausted from fighting the fire, Strike Team 143 may need a new crew rotation this weekend.

The Howard Hughes Corp. purchased The Woodlands Towers at The Waterway in December while Paul Layne was CEO. (Courtesy The Howard Hughes Corp.)
Howard Hughes Corp. CEO Paul Layne retires after year that saw company move HQ to The Woodlands, purchase of former Occidental towers

The CEO for The Howard Hughes Corp., which develops The Woodlands, The Woodlands Hills and Bridgeland in the Greater Houston area, announced this retirement this month.

Gov. Greg Abbott on July 27 issued an executive order extending the early voting period for the Nov. 3 election. (Screenshot of Sept. 17 press conference)
Lawsuit takes aim at start date for early voting as some Texas Republicans challenge Gov. Greg Abbott's order

A group of prominent Texas Republicans has embarked on a legal effort to undo the governor's executive order that extended the early voting period for the Nov. 3 election.