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Port Arthur residents receive blessing; next food donation event Thursday

Linda Chambers has a handful of grandchildren in her charge and her No. 1 priority is to make sure they have everything they need in life.

That mission is what brought her to Rev. Ransom Howard Street at 9 a.m. Tuesday.

The Southeast Texas Food Bank and Triangle Community Outreach are giving out carloads of food and water for residents affected by the aftermath of Hurricane Laura.

“I have grandchildren that I take care of, and I like to make sure that they have everything they need, as opposed to having nothing,” Chambers said. “As long as they have something, I am satisfied.”

Chambers’ house in Port Arthur lost power post-Hurricane Laura, causing a fridge full of groceries to spoil and an uncertainty on where their next meal will come from.

Oscar Mendoza, pictured in a black T-shirt, is a volunteer helping at Tuesday’s event.

The thought brought tears to her eyes.

“I’m just thankful, and grateful, to the community that came together to serve and help one another, and to reach out that same help to someone else,” she said. “Even in the neighborhood, sharing this, it means everything.”

The comment brought matching tears to Olga Reasons, a key component in the event.

“That’s why we do things like this,” she said. “For people like that. I mean, she’s got grandbabies and we are helping — that’s why we do this.”

Reasons is a member of the Triangle Community Outreach program in Port Arthur, and today’s event included partnering with the Southeast Texas Food Bank to give out bottles of water and non-perishable food to the community.

Volunteers line up on the walkway to distribute food to waiting cars.

“The buses (of evacuees) came in (Monday) from Port Arthur, and obviously their refrigerators had to be cleaned out because very few of us have had power,” she said. “The reason for this is just to help all those people. We didn’t get the damage that our neighbors in Louisiana, Orange and Bridge City did, but they did lose a lot of their food.”

Felicia Jones, another Port Arthur resident, is one of those people.

“We lost a lot of our food with lights being out, so this helps replace that food that was lost,” she said. “This means everything to me to see that people care for people that lost stuff.”

A handful of volunteers from around the Golden Triangle assisted Reasons in handing out water, canned goods and chips.

Peggy and Anna Malveaux were also in line picking up food for a senior citizens complex in town.

“We’re senior citizens and it’s hard,” Malveaux said. “We have to wait until our checks come in to buy food, so we appreciate this.”

Reasons said food will be available until it’s all handed out.

“This is what we need to be doing,” she said. “We can’t drive all the way to Orange. We don’t have the means or transportation, but we are helping. We are all here helping the community, giving back to those in need for whatever reason it is. We all have our reasons for being here (Tuesday), but we all love our people and we love our area. We want to bless them. That’s just what we do.”

Triangle Community Outreach will be doing a similar event Thursday at 3505 Procter St., starting at noon for residents on the other side of town.

A handful of volunteers from different places came together Tuesday to give out food and water to the Port Arthur community.