HOUSTON — One of the stops on President Joe Biden’s trip to Houston was the Houston Food Bank where he and First Lady Jill Biden pitched in to pack food.
The first couple toured the 300,000 square foot facility, which helped provide 159 million meals to families in 18 counties over the last year.
Biden called their work to combat food insecurity “absolutely amazing” and “incredible.”
He met volunteers, including a young brother and sister who explained why they were helping, then hugged him goodbye.
Biden and Texas Governor Greg Abbott then rolled up their sleeves to help.
"We're here to help, so put us to work," he said.
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According to reporters travelling with Mr Biden, he packed canned peaches while the governor packed raisins.
Before the president arrived, Jill Biden joined an assembly line of volunteers loading boxes of quick oats, juice and canned goods for children in the Buddy Backpack program. She spoke with Humble ISD Assistant Principal Kara Peck, whose school benefits from the program. Texas First Lady Cecilia Abbott was also on hand to help.
The first couple was “very educated” about the hunger crisis and eager to learn what more the federal government can do to help, according to Chief Impact Officer Nicole Lander.
“They definitely want to know about hunger, specifically in the children and senior populations,” Lander said. “They definitely want to understand how their efforts at the federal level can support food banks more consistently.”
The food bank in northeast Houston works with 1,500 community partners the distribute food and other essentials.
They’ve been a godsend to hundreds of thousands of families during the COVID pandemic, and then after last week’s devastating winter storm.
While touring the Houston Office of Emergency Management earlier, Biden promised that the government will be there to help Texans recover from the historic and COVID-19 crisis.
He heard firsthand from Texans clobbered by this month's brutal winter weather on Friday and pledged to stick with them “for the long haul.”
“When a crisis hits our states, like the one that hit Texas, it’s not a Republican or Democrat that’s hurting," Biden said. “It's our fellow Americans that are hurting and it's our job to help everyone in need."