AUSTIN, Texas - 100 meal packages were handed out from the Mt. Zion Baptist Church resource center on Harvey Street.
The Thanksgiving distribution was coordinated by a women's foundation called Saffron Trust, led by Phyllis Everette.
"This is a very humbling experience, at this time in our nation, people are truly suffering, and meals are very important, and so we are not only passing out meals, we are also building relationships in the community,” said Everette.
Each package was filled with enough food to feed 4 to 6 people. Prepared by a group of chefs from Austin called the Cook's Nook, the meals were brought to the center by the delivery service, try hungry. Kim Alexander got a package for her mother and a neighbor.
"It feels good knowing that we can’t be with her, and this is like one of the only times that we haven't been with her for the holiday, to be able to give her a meal and make sure that she still has a Thanksgiving meal, it feels awesome,” said Alexander.
That awesome feeling is also felt by the team of volunteers serving the meals. "I see the look on their face, it’s a look of life, right. I have this saying from a famous musician, African musician, "Water gets no enemies." And it’s funny how people come up, it doesn't matter who they are, we are all connected in a way that, we need water, we need substance, so when I see the look on their faces it’s a look of life,” said volunteer Lia Everette.
The mission of the women's foundation is not limited to meals. The group essentially is a guide to services.
"I just got a call the other day, and I had a family that had a newborn and need diapers. So we were able to partner with the Austin Diaper Bank and get them enough diapers for their newborn for 2 years, we had a disabled woman who needed a mattress, the needs are just so extensive during COVID19, it’s not just food, it’s not just rent, feminine hygiene products, diapers, there is a whole donut hole of things families are missing because they have not had a paycheck in 6 months,” said Phyllis Everette.
Tina Briseno is among those who now have a relationship with the foundation.
"It’s a lot for me and my family. You know we are together, and they are not even our family, but they're family in our heart, they've helped us a lot and like I said, they donut only feed us, they feed the community within our neighborhood because there are older people that can’t come out, and we take it to them, so yeah we are blessed, we're very blessed, yeah we appreciate everything that they've done,” said Briseno.
Since October, the foundation and its partners have been providing more than 100 free lunches, Monday through Friday. The program will continue through December with efforts underway to extend it into 2021.