Mission Lab 2018

Clay Road Baptist Church hosted the small disaster relief feeding unit that could…and did

October 26th, 2017 / By: Jane Rodgers | TEXAN Correspondent / comments

Clay Road Baptist Church hosted the small disaster relief feeding unit that could…and did

SBTC DR volunteer Josh Andrews from San Antonio (right) and New Mexico disaster relief volunteer Angus Campbell prepare food for Hurricane Harvey victims. The feeding unit deployed toClay Road Baptist Church in Northwest Houston. Photo by Jane Rodgers

HOUSTON—The 5,000-meal Southern Baptists of Texas Convention Disaster Relief (DR) feeding unit from Flint, Texas, which deployed to Clay Road Baptist Church in Northwest Houston Aug. 30 to begin mass feeding operations over the Labor Day weekend in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, finally packed up after Columbus Day.

Staffed initially with Flint and other SBTC DR volunteers, the unit under the overall direction of Ralph Britt was manned by volunteers from Texas, South Carolina and New Mexico Baptist Relief, who cooked food provided and distributed by the Red Cross.

“Meals went to eight different places, carried in Red Cross ERVs [emergency response vehicles],” unit director Kathy Pennington of Artesia, New Mexico, told the TEXAN, explaining that Red Cross volunteers drove through surrounding neighborhoods, handing out the hot meals.

As of Friday, Oct. 6, the unit was still preparing 3,450 lunches and dinners per day.

The feeding unit operated at capacity for more than a month, cranking out 176,000 meals by the end of the deployment.

“We’ve learned a lot from Harvey. Katrina, Rita and Ike were the models. Harvey changed all that,” Britt said, noting the massive scope of the storm which affected widely scattered “pockets” of damage and called for extensive help from DR units from other states.

“At the end of the day, we in New Mexico know that, if we need help, Texas has our back,” said DR volunteer Eric Larson, pastor of Jemez Mountain Baptist Church in Jemez Springs, New Mexico, praising Britt’s team for the smooth transition between groups from Texas and other states manning the feeding unit.