The winter storm that occurred Valentine’s Day week 2021 brought not only snow and sleet to Texas, but also extreme cold temperatures. With road closures, power outages, loss of electricity and broken pipes taking their toll, the storm left thousands without food or water.
With the much needed disbursement of $14,000, four Texas food banks were able to receive checks totaling $3,500 each: $2,500 from National Philoptochos and $1,000 from the Metropolis of Denver Philoptochos.
On March 11th, National Board member Barbara Vittas was very pleased to be able to present checks to two amazing organizations. First stop was the Community Food Bank who specialize in freely providing fresh and frozen meats, produce, dairy and breads to families in need and to other non-profits that also feed families in need. Their wonderful directors, Rudy and Regena Taylor were overjoyed with our donation and gave Barbara a tour of their every expanding facilities.
Second stop was the Tarrant County Area Food Bank, also in Fort Worth, which is a larger facility that provided access to 60 million meals in 2020. They distribute food to pantries in 13 counties. Elvira Reyes and Megan Smock, Directors of Development, accepted our donations with many thanks.
On March 11th, National Board members Martha Stefanidakis and Marian Catechis along with Annunciation Cathedral Chapter Vice President Pauline Koinis visited the Emergency Aid Coalition where they met with Executive Director Jean West Evans to distribute food collected at the Cathedral along with the funds from National Philoptochos and Metropolis of Denver Philoptochos. Founded in 1983, in Houston, Texas, the Emergency Aid Coalition is an interfaith organization that collaborates to provide temporary assistance in the form of food, clothing and other basic needs, with an emphasis on serving the working poor. Over 50,000 individuals are helped each year. The funds were received with much appreciation and gratitude.
The following week, Martha Stefanidakis, Annunciation Philoptochos President Marie Halvatzis and Pauline Koinis visited the nation’s largest Food Bank in distribution serving 18 southeast Texas counties. The Houston Food Bank serves over 92,835 households weekly and in 2020 provided 159,000,000 (yes, million!)meals. Director Lorena Avillaneda greeted us warmly and hosted a tour of the massive facilities where hundreds of volunteers, from age 6 and above, sort, organize and distribute fresh produce, meat and nonperishables and prepare nutritious hot meals for kids in their state-of-the-art kitchen.
It was an honor for us to witness and donate funds from National Philoptochos and Metropolis of Denver Philoptochos to this incredible outreach to those in need.