Catholic Charities’ Mamie George Community Center in Richmond Expands Access to Food: Serving Two Evenings a Week as Houston Food Bank “Super Site”

08.11.2020

Brief facts:

  • Catholic Charities’ Mamie George Community Center in Richmond expands food distribution to Tuesdays and Thursdays, 4:30-7:30 p.m., starting August 18
  • Designated as Houston Food Bank Neighborhood Super Site
  • Large-scale food distribution at 1111 Collins Road, Richmond, TX 77469 (MAP)
A volunteer helps at Catholic Charities' Mamie George Community Center food distribution.

Catholic Charities’ Mamie George Community Center serves as a Houston Food Bank Super Site during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Beginning Tuesday, August 18, Catholic Charities’ Mamie George Community Center (MGCC) will expand large-scale food distribution from one day to two days a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays, shifting from the previous all-day distribution to hours that help working families, 4:30-7:30 p.m. Families are asked to choose one of the two days for a weekly visit.

“The need for food is off the charts,” said MGCC Executive Director Gladys Brumfield-James. “In just the last five months, we distributed nearly twice as much food as we did during all of the last fiscal year.”

MGCC serves as one of the Houston Food Bank’s Neighborhood Super Sites, so far helping more than 70,000 area residents who are struggling to keep food on the table during the COVID-19 pandemic.

During each drive-through food distribution, the line of vehicles is long and it keeps getting longer. “We had a ‘loaves and fishes’ kind of experience during our most recent distribution,” said food pantry coordinator Shayne Baker. “We had food to serve 1,500 families, and somehow by the end of the day, we had served 2,000 without skimping on quantities for the last vehicles that came through.”

Nearly one in four people living in Richmond-Rosenberg lives in poverty – the highest poverty level in Fort Bend County, so economic loss from the pandemic is especially brutal in this area. MGCC is located in the zip code with greatest need.

Before the pandemic, MGCC’s food pantry – Trini’s Market, a Houston Food Bank partner – provided 567,000 pounds of food in the last fiscal year through Saturday food fairs and weekday “shopping” in a grocery store-style environment. When the pandemic began, MGCC transitioned to drive-through food distribution to maintain safety from COVID-19.

Each family in the drive-through line leaves with up to 60 pounds of food items: non-perishables (e.g., canned goods), fresh produce, frozen meats and fresh milk, loaded by volunteers who brave the summer heat to feed hungry families.

“MGCC is grateful for our wonderful volunteers who remain at our side,” said Brumfield-James. “We’re especially thankful for the Order of Malta, which steadfastly provides volunteers every time.”

The Order of Malta is a lay, religious order of the Roman Catholic Church, dedicated to work with the sick and the poor. Volunteers from a variety of other organizations round out MGCC’s need for assistance during food distribution.

Families and individuals in need of food assistance should report to Mamie George Community Center, 1111 Collins Road, Richmond, TX, 77469, no earlier than 4:00 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. They will be directed by law enforcement and volunteers to staging areas to wait for service starting at 4:30 p.m.

Families must register in advance through the Houston Food Bank’s system by texting 94502 with the letters HFBNSS as the message. They will then be directed to fill out a form with information that’s kept confidential. Families should be ready to show the survey completion screen when pulling into the MGCC parking lot.

For information, visit CatholicCharities.org/COVIDFoodDistribution. Anyone interested in volunteering should contact Dottie Bateman, 281-202-6222, dbateman@CatholicCharities.org.

More information on Catholic Charities’ COVID-19 Response

Impacted by COVID-19 and need help? Visit our resource page at CatholicCharities.org/coronavirus.