HOUSTON – A food distribution, organized by Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and the Houston Food Bank, was held Monday afternoon at the Family Dollar store after a community staple burned down Friday in Houston’s Southside.
When Jim’s Supermarket burned down on Friday, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee said she knew it would hurt families here. She helped organize a food giveaway with the Houston Food Bank and is working to secure federal funding to help Jim’s rebuild. She also wants to keep helping families with food especially in the middle of a pandemic.
“I need this to continue. I need us to have food distributions at least once or twice a week. You are not going to have a positive person or a sick person or a family who has a sick person or people off work be able to survive the COVID-19 pandemic if they don’t have basic elements of quality of life,” said Congresswoman Lee.
The giveaway started at 1 p.m. on Yellowstone Boulevard.
Residents told KPRC 2 the food giveaway will help them for a little bit because Jim’s is now gone. They said Jim’s Supermarket was important to the community, especially for the elderly and disabled. It was a huge central source of food for families in need.
“They served a lot of people,” said Damon Scott, who attended the food giveaway with his family. “I hope they rebuild because the location was everything for the people who don’t have transportation.”
Other community members also came out for boxes full of fresh foods, meats, and vegetables agree.
“This was an institution of a store for the neighborhood and it is a great loss,” one woman said.
“I want to thank everybody, this is really important because a lot of people since the stuff has been going on. This is real good,” said another man.
Karen Hunyh, whose family owns Jim’s Supermarket, was at the giveaway with other family members. She said the community means so much to them and they have felt so much love since they lost their business.
“We didn’t know how much we meant to the community until this was done after this was gone we have had outpours of people coming and saying sorry and telling us how much we mean to them,” Hunyh said.
The fire is still under investigation but the family believes it was accidental.
Hunyh said the family does plan to rebuild.
Congresswoman Lee said to help, she is calling on food truck owners to come set up shop near Jim’s to help community members with food availability.