Veteran-led disaster response organization partners with Houston Food Bank to deliver meals to those in need

HOUSTON – Team Rubicon, a veteran-led global disaster response organization, has teamed up with the Houston Food Bank to feed the hungry.

Dimas Ventura, task force leader for Team Rubicon, said since the partnership started Monday. He has picked up and dropped off about 600 pre-packaged meals on behalf of the food bank.

“We try to help out wherever we’re needed and if that means providing food to individuals, then that’s where we’re at,” he said.

Where is the food going?

Ventura said the meals from the Houston Food Bank were donated to Harmony House, a facility for homeless working men.

“There are people that really need food right now,” Ventura said.

Brian Greene, president of the Houston Food Bank, the demand for food right now is unlike anything he has seen before.

“The amount of distribution that we’re doing is two to two and a half times normal,” he said.

Why this matter?

The food distribution to those in vulnerable communities would not be possible without volunteers like Ventura, Greene said.

“We would be just dead in the water if it wasn’t for all these organizations and people stepping up to do creative things to make it possible to be serving 150,000 families a week,” Greene said.

With a limited number of volunteers allowed inside the building, Greene said volunteers taking creative approaches like Team Rubicon will be more crucial.

Currently, Ventura is operating as a one-man-van. He said Team Rubicon hopes to increase manpower within the next few weeks.

“We’re always on the road,” Ventura said. “Just trying to get it done!”

Breaking down the numbers

Before coronavirus, the Houston Food Bank saw about 400 volunteers daily, according to Greene. However, he said the organization is lucky to get half of that number these days.

Even more, the food bank has capped volunteers to 150 per shift to accommodate for social distancing, Greene said. They run three shifts per day.