Country star Martina McBride chooses Humble to help
Hours before the mobile food pantry opened at the Humble Civic Center Saturday, Nov. 4, more than 100 residents gathered to stand in line to receive non-perishable and perishable foods, fruit, vegetables and toiletries, all donated to help Humble area residents in need.
Organized by country singer Martina McBride and her charity Team Music is Love, partnered with OneGenAway, both from Nashville, Tenn., along with the help of local volunteers and the local nonprofit, East Texas Dream Center, the mobile food bank was open to anyone – no questions asked. Feed America First also helped to contribute to the relief efforts.
“We feel so honored and excited to be here to help where there is a need,” Chris Whitney, a founder of OneGenAway, said. “Our passion is to bring churches to serve communities, crossing any denominational or racial lines; we just want to help anyone who needs it.”
OneGenAway and Team Music is Love helped others affected by floods in middle Tennessee a few years ago, so they know how it can affect people, especially months after the floodwaters have receded and the clean-up continues. They came to Humble with 45,000 pounds of food, which included fresh produce, canned meats and soups, rice and many other items to give away.
“An astounding 1,600 people came to our mobile food pantry. We gave away 45,000 pounds of staple food items and fresh produce. The food came all the way from Nashville and was donated by Martina McBride in partnership with OneGenAway.org,” said Shelia Jones, director of TeamMusicIsLove.com.
“When the hurricane hit, Team Music is Love reached out to us and asked if we were going to do anything in Houston, so we partnered to bring the mobile food banks here,” Whitney said. “Months after a flood, some of the volunteers have to return back to work or their lives and the need is still there. We wanted to help in communities strongly affected by the floodwaters. We chose Humble because the Houston Food Bank targeted Humble as a place that needed food and we chose this community. We want residents in the Humble area to know that we haven’t forgotten about you.”
Volunteers organized the food into categories and lined up shopping carts, which allowed residents to select what they needed and easily transport those items to their vehicle.
For Humble resident Stephanie Tenison, although her house didn’t flood, she had several family members and friends who lost everything, so the mobile food pantry was a blessing for her to provide food for her house guests.
“I had to help my friends who lost everything,” Tenison said. “It was important for me to help other people who really needed it, so it is nice to have the mobile food pantry so I can continue to help.”
During their time in the line waiting to get food from the mobile food pantry, Kerri Rushing and Damon Armputi were able to share stories and learn more about their fellow neighbors, such as Earnest Herd, who is a Vietnam veteran and displaced by the storm.
“We thank God they came from Nashville to host a mobile food pantry like this for us,” Rushing said. “There are a lot of people in our community who need help.”
“We are unemployed by no fault of our own, so with the effects of the storm and flooding, we have struggled,” Armputi said. “We are thankful for any help.”
Both Team Music is Love and OneGenAway plan to host another mobile food pantry in the future and have plans to help residents affected by floods and hurricane damage in Florida, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.