This year Thanksgiving just won’t be the same for so many Harvey survivors who are still rebuilding their homes. Although the people who put the Big Super Feast on every year want to help, they also need some help themselves.
For the past 38 years thousands of Houstonians have counted on City Wide Club to help fill their bellies on Thanksgiving but this year the Super Feast storage closet needs help filling up too.
“We find ourselves this year, scrambling a little bit,” explained Stephanie Lewis with City Wide.“We actually normally start preparing in July, which we did this year, we just had a huge interruption.”
Hurricane Harvey means more people than ever are expected at the George R. Brown Convention Center but with less supplies and funds to work with. Food and clothing supplies that City Wide starting collecting over the summer were distributed to Harvey Victims, leaving their closets and pantries low on donations.
“Many of the people that we depend on for financial support simply are not in the position to do that,” said Lewis.
Lewis also says that many of the companies they typically rely on have reached their donation threshold for the year.
And there’s an even bigger picture as community staples around Houston, like St. Francis of Assisi in the Kashmere Gardens Area, were also devastated.
“Water got in here [the church] and everything’s torn apart,” said Father Martin Eke.
The church, school and other buildings took on feet of water during Harvey. Currently the food pantry is short of food and doubles as storage for church statues and artwork.
Out of Eke’s 300 parishioners, he says about 50 are flood victims. Because of that, food supplies that the church normally offers during the holidays are sparse; an example as to why many may find themselves at the Big Super Feast for the first time.
In 2016, City Wide cooked about 2,000 turkeys and hams, this year Lewis estimates they’ll need 3,000. Add the potatoes, stuffing, pies and other Thanksgiving fixins’ and City Wide will need a lot of help to help pull it off. They are also asking for hundreds of additional volunteers.
For information about food and monetary donations or volunteer information, click here.
© 2017 KHOU-TV