A local charity that said it has seen an uptick in the need for its services during the COVID-19 pandemic recently received a donation aimed at helping spread the love in Fort Bend County.
On March 3, Missouri City’s Second Mile Charities was presented with a $1,000 check courtesy of fellow nonprofit Men For Change.
“We’re just grateful for being recognized for being here to help,” Second Mile Executive Director Sara White said. “Their generosity was pretty overwhelming and unexpected.”
Since 1990, Second Mile has served as a food pantry and thrift clothing store for Fort Bend County families that are in poverty and crisis. Additionally, the center offers classes and educational programming on long-term needs such as financial education, job training and financial assistance, according to its website. The organization started in Sugar Land before moving to Stafford in 2002 and has been at its 1135 Hwy. 90 location in Missouri City since 2013.
“Pantries like ours are helping more and more people these days,” White said.
That need White alludes to is the impact from the COVID-19 pandemic, which has plunged some of the county’s residents into a time of desperate need.
Advancement Director Sheena Abraham said the organization has food giveaways and drives Monday-Friday and one Saturday a month. Before the pandemic, Abraham said it was standard to give out more than 1 million pounds of food per year to more than 2,500 families. The food is donated by community members and the Houston Food Bank.
In 2020, she said the organization gave out more than 3 million pounds of food, and White said demand has seen a 50-60 percent year-over-year increase.
“The feedback we’re getting from families is that it’s just one thing after another piling up and compounding, so we’ve adjusted our services to be contact-light,” Abraham said. “And now after the winter storm we’re continuing to hear difficult stories from people. We’re serving the best that we can.”
Men For Change President Will Ross said Fort Bend Precinct 2 Commissioner Grady Prestage brought Second Mile to their attention for efforts that also include produce giveaways around the county in areas such as Rosenberg, Four Corners, Fresno and Fulshear.
“Second Mile fills a void in this community, and not just during the pandemic but in the years before that. It was a perfect marriage. They’re going to take this donation and amplify it,” Prestage said. “It’ll have much more value after they put the love and heart and creativity into it to maximize it and help the families.”