How to Help Feed Houstonians Impacted By This Week’s Winter Storm

Even though temperatures are expected to warm in the coming days, there are still hundreds of thousands of people in the Houston area who are without power and clean, potable water. Others have been displaced from their homes after frozen pipes caused water damage, and the city’s unhoused population remains especially vulnerable to the cold.

To be sure, there is a great deal of need for hot, nutritious meals in Houston right now. Fortunately, a number of mutual aid collectives, community fridges, and hunger relief organizations are working around the clock to ensure that people get enough to eat — and they could use some financial support.

Looking for ways to help Houstonians in need eat during this wild winter weather? Here’s where to start.

If you know of a mutual aid fund, charitable organization, or other grassroots group that’s helping people on the ground right now, email the details to [email protected]

Mutual Aid and Hunger Relief Organizations

From traditional nonprofit organizations focused on hunger relief to mutual aid collectives providing direct assistance to those in need, these groups are working around the clock to provide hot food, housing, and other essentials to people without heat or the ability to cook a hot meal right now.

Mutual Aid Houston — This local mutual aid fund is collecting donations to provide hot food and other essentials to people impacted by the winter weather. At present, the group is asking for donations via its GoFundMe page, after its Venmo and CashApp accounts were overwhelmed by donations.

Rice Mutual Aid — A mutual aid collective organized by Rice University students, Rice Mutual Aid is currently accepting donations so that it can provide snacks, housing and other essentials to students impacted by the storm. Learn more about how to donate here.

Southern Smoke Foundation — Chris Shepherd’s nonprofit’s Emergency Assistance Fund is available to all hospitality workers in times of crisis like these. Make a donation via the organization’s website.

Houston Food Bank — This massive hunger relief organization distributes food to community feeding programs and food pantries year-round, and a $10 donation can provide 30 meals to people in need during this icy weather. Contribute via the Houston Food Bank website.

Lucille’s 1913 — Founded by chef Chris Williams, this nonprofit organization has been feeding hungry people since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. In light of Houston’s extreme winter weather, it’s been handing out meals to those in need in collaboration with Houston pastor Rudy Rasmus. Support this work by making a donation via the Lucille’s 1913 website.

Second Servings — This nonprofit “rescues” food from restaurants and distributes it to low-income people across the Houston area, feeding the hungry and reducing food waste in the process. Donate via Second Servings’s website.

Community Fridges

Community fridges in Houston operate on a “take what you need, leave what you can” philosophy. If you know people who are in need of fresh, nutritious food, point them in the direction of these community fridges. If you’re able to donate some cash or food, here’s the details:

Cloverleaf — Located at St. Timothy Episcopal Church, this community fridge is currently accepting cash donations via its GoFundMe account. Donations will be used to fill the fridge with food, purchase sanitation items, provide gas for delivery drivers, and other essentials.

13125 Indianapolis Way, open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Third Ward — Organizer Nina Mayers has set up a GoFundMe to stock not only the community fridge she helped organize in the Third Ward, but all of the city’s fridges.

3801 North MacGregor Way, open 24 hours a day.

Stafford — Operated by TRS Health, the community fridge at 12805 Capricorn Street is currently accepting donations of food at the fridge, along with cash donations via PayPal. Read more about donation guidelines on the TRS Health website.

12805 Capricorn Street, Stafford, open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Tomball — Organizers in Tomball are currently raising funds to set up the city’s first community fridge. Learn more about when the fridge will be operational via its Instagram page, and donate via GoFundMe.

Will be located at the Renewal Center in Tomball, opening hours TBD.

Alief — Operated by nonprofit the Wow Project, this community fridge is currently accepting cash donations via its website. Don’t have cash to give? The Alief fridge is also in search of volunteers.

12131 Beechnut, at D’Hope Services. Open Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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