ON THE MENU — Luby’s teams up with Mayor Bartie, Shine on Humanity to provide 14 family meals

Published 12:40 am Friday, December 24, 2021

Fourteen families received a holiday meal thanks to a partnership between the City of Port Arthur, Luby’s and Shine on Humanity.

The restaurant provided multicourse meals for families in need.

The families were selected by the city, local schools and through community submissions.

Van Shotwell talks with Thurman Bartie at Luby’s on Thursday. (Chris Moore/The News)

Throughout Thursday, families came by to pick up their meals, while Shine on Humanity delivered some to four homebound recipients.

Families received pre-cut turkey, a gallon of Luby’s tea, cornbread dressing, two vegetables, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, two dozen rolls and a pumpkin pie.

“We have been in the community for many years,” Luby’s General Manager Benjamin Booker said.

“The staff has a really good relationship with them. It is always good to put together a package to team up with the city and help those in need of food.”

Booker said he looks forward to doing more events like this in the future and encourages other businesses to do the same.

Port Arthur Mayor Thurman Bartie said the economic stress on the area and around the country makes events like these necessary.

The meals consist of pre-cut turkey, a gallon of Luby’s tea, cornbread dressing, two vegetables, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, two dozen rolls and a pumpkin pie. (Chris Moore/The News)

“We know what some folks are experiencing with some job situations and financial strains,” he said.

“This lessens the impact of not having certain things at a time like this. For those of us, who God has blessed, this is what we should do. We should give from every depth of our heart… Who knows, one day we could be those less fortunate.”

Shine on Humanity, which is a Houston-based organization, hosted a turkey drive last year in Port Arthur and has plans to open a chapter in the city in the near future, Co-Founder of Shine on Humanity Van Shotwell said.

“The need is here,” she said. “Jimmie Wheeler, who is also a co-founder, has roots here, too. He said we have to go back and help the community. Last year, we did a turkey drive, but with the turkey shortage this year, we decided to change it up a little bit. We decided to do full meals and Luby’s was just great on helping us out.”

Shotwell said it feels good to be able to help.

“Sometimes, we get in ruts in life,” she said. “If you need help, ask for help. That is the No. 1 thing. Don’t be embarrassed or shy. Appreciate it and pay it forward when you can.”

Bartie said he is looking forward to working more with Shine on Humanity.

“This is a good hub for them to serve Southeast Texas and Southwest Louisiana,” he said. “We would love for them to be located here and we are doing what we can to accommodate that.”

Luby’s Supervisor Gayle Hughes puts the turkey on the table. (Chris Moore/The News)