Insights > Entergy Grant Powers Drive-Through Food Distribution in Hardin County
Entergy Grant Powers Drive-Through Food Distribution in Hardin County
Well before Hurricane Laura made landfall, southeast Texas was responding to a different type of storm – COVID-19. The damage from the prolonged “storm” wasn’t physical destruction but rather health and financial struggles, leaving families without financial resources for basic needs, such as food, rent and utilities.
With help from Entergy Texas, 500 families in Hardin County were able to receive a week’s worth of supplemental meals during a drive-through food distribution initiative at Crestwood Baptist Church in Kountze.
Funded by a $4,000 grant from Entergy’s Southeast Texas Relief Fund, the distribution on Aug. 13 was organized by United Way of Beaumont & North Jefferson County, Southeast Texas Food Bank and Hardin County Strong to help families struggling with financial impacts of the pandemic.
“Entergy Texas created the relief fund to help our nonprofit partners working on the front lines of the economic crisis,” said Stuart Barrett, vice president of customer service. “By providing food and other basic needs for vulnerable families, they’re making a difference for thousands of people in our communities who might not have anywhere else to turn for help. We’re proud to assist in their mission to serve our communities.”
“United Way is always proud to partner with Entergy Texas,” said Karyn Husbands, president and CEO of United Way of Beaumont & North Jefferson County. “We thank Entergy Texas for entrusting United Way to facilitate the use of grant funds that are providing direct assistance to families in need in Hardin County. It was a wonderful event.”
Cars began lining up in the church parking lot hours before the distribution started at 10 a.m. Once the line started moving, drivers pulled in front of the church and popped their trunks so volunteers could place food boxes inside, with no contact required. In addition to social distancing, participants wore masks and followed sanitization protocols during the two-hour distribution effort.
“We’re making sure volunteering is done as safely as possible because it’s important for agencies to continue providing services,” said John Rollins, director of public relations and community impact for United Way of Beaumont & North Jefferson County. “The drive-through method also is a quicker way to get food to people, and right now, the need is immediate.”
Rollins noted that the United Way’s partnering agencies are doing their best to keep up with increased demands for services — from helping homebound seniors and domestic violence victims to connecting people with mental health services and rental and utility assistance.
For nonprofits throughout southeast Texas, Entergy’s support during the pandemic has been vital.
“Our area is no stranger to hurricanes, but when those disasters happen, the whole nation tends to rally around local communities to help,” Rollins explained. “That’s not possible during a global pandemic because there is need everywhere, which makes the support we’ve received from Entergy Texas so important. Our community is extremely resilient and will find a way to march forward.”
Even after Hurricane Laura, Entergy Texas’ commitment to helping southeast Texas recover didn’t stop when the lights were restored. The company pledged $360,000 to charitable organizations across the region to help rebuild the communities it serves. Learn more.