Donations roll in for annual Montgomery County Food Bank holiday drive
After more than a month of collecting non-perishable goods, the Montgomery County Food Bank’s Holiday Food Drive wrapped up at The Woodlands United Methodist Church.
Throughout the day, major donations from corporate partners like the Huntsman Corporation, H-E-B and Quality Home Products of Texas came in, further adding to five pallets that had already been collected two hours into the drive, each holding thousands of meals for the 76,000 food-challenged individuals in the county.
“We have a responsibility to continue with these types of programs and for the people of our county to ensure that there is no one who goes without,” County Judge-elect Mark Keough said.
The church event was a culmination of more than a month of giving by residents of Montgomery County, including a turkey distribution for Thanksgiving. Volunteers and officials celebrated with hot cocoa and performances from the choirs of The Woodlands United Methodist School, The Woodlands College Park High School and Snyder, Reaves, Austin and New Caney Elementary Schools.
“I love what they do here in Montgomery County,” Keough said. “They are really a statement of our community that loves to give to people who are in need — that’s who we are.”
The massive operation encompasses almost 70 volunteers collection literal tons of food to be distributed to more than 50 partnering pantries throughout the county, said John Tindall, the food bank’s director of volunteer services.
This is the first year such an event has been held at the church, rather than the Montgomery County Courthouse. The central location is ideal for spreading the word and maximizing collections, Director of Development Lindy Johnson told the Villager in October.
Local officials were on hand Friday to thank those that had come out despite the muggy morning to provide to those less fortunate than them.
“We’re just trying to expand our reach to help those who don’t have enough nourishment,” said Montgomery County Food Bank board chair Kelly Holmes.
The food bank is ending the year on a much higher note than it began, Tindall said. Since this time last year, the organization has added close to 1,000 volunteers and raised the number of volunteer hours by 70 percent. The top two highest-participating volunteers, he added, work the equivalent of two full-time jobs per week.
The event continues until 5 p.m. Friday.
“Come on by,” Tindall said. “Have fun, really just enjoy the holidays.”