FAYETTE COUNTY, Texas - In La Grange recovery efforts continued Monday with two well-known barbecue restaurants in town filling a need by filling plates. Hot meals are making a difference, but sustaining the recovery effort remains a concern.
One meal at a time; that’s how the recovery is progressing in La Grange. Monday morning, two barbecue icons, Southside and Louis Mueller, set up shop. Pounds of brisket and ribs were sliced. Replaced by even more meat which was smoked for flood victims and volunteers. Pitmaster Wayne Mueller told FOX 7 that this Labor Day the theme is labor of love serves as a reminder the need is not limited to Houston.
"We are here to show our support for our kindred spirit here in La Grange, and all up and down the Colorado really, there's all sorts of small communities that need help and anything anybody can do to go and help those folks it’s incumbent on us to do it, because if we don’t do it, who is,” said Mueller.
The Southside team has served three meals a day since Friday, It’s estimated a little more than 5,000 meals have been served so far. Owner Bryan Bracewell, understands what a hot meal means right now.
"You know ironically today is six years removed from the wildfire, six years ago today, my wife and I lost our house in the Bastrop wildfire, we received so much help so much blessing, during that period time of our lives, when this happened we knew we needed to be here,” said Bracewell.
Craig Waddell who had his home swept away a week ago was among those who walked away Monday with a warm meal and some hope.
"This town is something else, this is something else, it’s probably on every corner some kind of food, one thing we don’t have to worry about, our bellies,” said Waddell.
Filling the need by filling plates brought volunteers like Izzy Eidelman who is from New York.
"Yeah this is pretty cool, we just arrived at 3 am so we are still bit out of it today,” said Eidelman.
Working the food line for Jim Hintze and his wife Shannon meant more than giving up a holiday in Cedar Creek; it’s also their wedding anniversary.
"We've been to delivering breakfast this morning to people trying to get their house and lives back together, it’s just the small difference it makes,” said Hintze.
Another example of, it’s not the size but the effort, was Caden Linn- who was in charge of dispensing sauce.
"I'd rather do this than my homework,” said Linn.
"The recovery effort really got going late last week. I’m told, since Thursday, about 500 families have received donations from this distribution location. Things like new shoes, of course clothing, even underwear and clean socks. But organizers tell me they are suspending this kind of donation effort for right now, but they still need help."
"We have an additional warehouse next door that is absolutely packed to the brim,” said Linda Morrison with the community thrift shop - Second Hand Emporium.
The shop was also lost in the flood. As Morrison and others process what’s been given, they still need financial help. They will also need replacements for the army of volunteers working now.
"Tomorrow starts school back in La Grange; we are going to lose a lot of our student workers and helpers, and our teacher base too. So there will be a lot of volunteer opportunities as far as sporting and helping us restock the distribution building and things like that,” said Morrison.
Addressing the need is expected to last for months. Financial donations can be made through a special website. www.lgrelief.com
The distribution center, on Reynolds St, is expected to stay open for the rest of the month. Sometime in October the plan is to reopen the thrift store.