Though the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the school year is still beginning soon and parents, some of whom have been laid off due to the virus, are looking for school supplies in addition to food and financial support.
Multiple northwest Houston nonprofit groups are hosting events for families to receive free school supplies, including Cy-Fair Helping Hands, Northwest Assistance Ministries and Cypress Assistance Ministries.
Cypress Assistance Ministries
Cypress Assistance Ministries began distributing backpacks with school supplies for the appropriate grade level on Aug. 3 with a drive-thru model. Parents will show ID and proof of their student’s registration to receive the school supplies.
Drive-thru distribution of the supplies is Monday-Friday from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. until Aug. 21. After August 21, clients can make an appointment with CAM to receive their school supplies.
Janet Ryan, director of development for CAM said the nonprofit is also in need of volunteers, financial support and donations in order to keep their resale store operating.
“We also rely on the kindness of our community to feed the families who are coming to us for help, as well as those who are coming to us for backpacks and school supplies. So donations of those items are wonderful,” Ryan said. “We utilize all safety practices – we maintain social distancing and wear masks to help keep everyone safe. Volunteers are needed in many roles in the ministry and I’m sure we’d find the job that fits each person”
Cypress Assistance Ministries serves families in the 77065, 77095, 77429 and 77433 ZIP codes, and is located at 11202 Huffmeister Rd. #5, Houston. For more information contact 281-955-7684 or visit www.cypressassistance.org.
Northwest Assistance Ministries
Along with online bill assistance and a food pantry, Northwest Assistance Ministries is partnering with Houston Food Bank and Spring ISD to provide for 2,500 families on Aug. 11, Aug. 25 and Sept. 8 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Planet Ford Stadium, 23802 Cypresswood Dr., Spring.
Families will be provided with free groceries on a first-come, first-serve basis while in their vehicle. Food includes fresh fruit and vegetables and non-perishable foods that will be placed in the car by a volunteer. Attendees are expected to wear a mask and bring their ID.
Volunteers are also needed for the event to provide food to the families in the area. For more information, call 281-885-4555 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cy-Fair Helping Hands
Cy-Fair Helping Hands is providing school supplies to clients that have utilized the nonprofits services since July for their annual Backpacks and School Supplies Campaign.
CFHH helps low-income and homeless families with food and opportunities for shelter and employment. CFHH is accepting donations of school supplies for the campaign through Aug. 18.
Patricia Hudson, executive director of community outreach for CFHH, said the event gave out more than 1,000 backpacks during the 2019 event. Although the nonprofit has received fewer donations than in previous years due to COVID-19 difficulties, the event is still expecting to provide more than 1,000 this year.
“Thankfully the school district put off the start of school to Sept. 8 so that gives us a little more time to generate stuff, get some capital, do some ordering and get whatever we need,” she said. “I’m hearing from (clients) I haven’t heard from since March and they want school supplies now. We can’t do that. It’s too much.”
The Backpack and School Supply Campaign distribution events are scheduled for Aug. 26 and Aug. 29 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. The event, located at 7520 Cherry Park Dr. Ste. B, Houston, is first come, first serve and will run until supplies are gone.
CFHH is requesting that people drop off items for the Backpack and School Supply Campaign by Aug. 18. CFHH is asking for donations of school supplies, like pencils, markers, and Elmer’s glue sticks, for the event. CFHH is also in need of food donations for their ongoing food distribution event.
Cy-Hope volunteers will distribute 1,500 meals to Cy-Fair community members at Lone Star College-CyFair every Friday until August 14, beginning at 11 a.m. and ending when the food, provided by Houston Food Bank, is gone.
Cy-Hope Executive Director Lynda Zelenka said the event at LSC-CyFair will focus on feeding Cy-Fair families in low-income areas, which have been impacted more by unemployment due to COVID-19.
“It would probably be anywhere from 40 to 60 pounds of food (per vehicle),” she said. “It will be a box of nonperishable food, a box of produce, meat and then usually juice or milk.”
Cy-Hope is also hosting blood drives by appointment at The Hope Chest Resale Market and their headquarters in partner with the Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center.
The next food distribution will be Aug. 14 at 11 a.m. For more information on the distribution and future dates, visit www.facebook.com/CyHopeTx/ .
Society of Samaritans
The Society of Samaritans, a nonprofit providing rent, mortgage and food assistance to local families and homeless people in the Magnolia area, is hosting a Back to School drive-thru drop-off food drive for students and families in Magnolia ISD.
Food can be dropped off at 31355 Friendship Drive, Magnolia from 5-7 p.m. on Aug. 11. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/Societyofsamaritans . Requested items include canned pasta, peanut butter and canned fruit.