Victims of Hurricane Harvey who were waiting on food, water and other necessities were still waiting early last week.
However, as the wheels of state and federal bureaucracy slowly hit the ground, a Texas-based grocery chain quickly stepped up and continues to deliver the goods.
H-E-B, a Houston and Texas favorite grocery store, kept as many of its stores open for those who could get to the locations as it could during Harvey, providing trucks full of supplies when so many others’ efforts stalled.
And, although the flood waters are rapidly receding, its efforts are not:
On Monday, August 28, the company dispatched 15 vehicles stocked with fuel, water and other supplies to storm-stricken Victoria, Texas, about two hours southwest of Houston.
The following day, H-E-B sent 150,000 half-liter water bottles to the makeshift shelter at Houston’s George R. Brown Convention Center, where some 10,000 displaced residents are temporarily calling home.
Continuing their tireless works, on Wednesday, August 30, H-E-B sent one of its mobile kitchen trucks to Rockport, the coastal Texas city where Hurricane Harvey made landfall and perhaps wrought the most structural damage.
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“Our Texas customers have supported us, and this is our way of supporting them,” Cyndy Garza-Roberts, the public affairs director of H-E-B Houston region, said in an interview. “That’s part of our company culture.”
Further embodying the legendary company culture is H-E-B President Scott McClelland, who, in an interview, said the grocery chain plans to keep Texans fed and cared for after the historic storm like they did during the brunt and ahead of the disaster:
“We first knew the storm was coming last Tuesday. You begin to put plans into motion. We began shipping water and bread into the effected areas. Those are the two categories people buy first. When you go into a hurricane, nobody buys frozen food. You want milk, bread, water. You want batteries, you want canned meat. You want tuna.”
McClelland also didn’t stand idly by while organizing relief efforts, personally working at a northwest Houston store for several days, often up to 16 hours a day with a skeleton crew.
“(Our) customers were coming up and hugging me and thanking me because our store was open,” he said. “Our partners — that’s what we call our employees — have made Herculean efforts to try and get to work because they understand that we’re the first line of being able to feed people.”
If you need or would like to help in Houston, read more here.