The food and hospitality industries are ideally about feeding and nurturing people, and those instincts have risen as Hurricane Harvey continues to take its toll in Texas. Restaurants in Houston, Austin, and around the country have started to organize discounts and specials in order to donate to relief efforts, while Houston Food Bank, Galveston Food Bank, Food Bank of the Golden Crescent, and Brazos Valley Food Bank are examples of organizations that are directly feeding people affected by Hurricane Harvey, should you wish to make a donation.
Though big corporate pledges of help are both welcome and needed, some of the most touching examples of the food world reaching out in the wake of Harvey aren't all about sizable financial donations. Read on for five inspiring acts of food kindness in the middle of the devastation.
1. The Bakers Who Kept on Baking
Instead of panicking, like most people would do, four bakers who were trapped at Houston's El Bolillo Bakery due to flooding used their time to help others. They continued to bake bread and sweet pan dulce to feed others who they knew would need food after Harvey passed. Working throughout the night and the next day to keep themselves occupied, they didn't even bother counting how many loaves they made, though they went through about 4,400 pounds of flour.
2. Pizzas Delivered by Kayak
The U.S. Postal Service has a reputation for delivering in any weather ("neither snow nor rain nor heat..."), but Pizza Hut employees in Oak Lake, TX took it one step further. Risking their own safety, they literally delivered 120 pizzas by kayak to nearby families who were trapped in their houses and running out of food.
3. Chicken Burritos With a Boat on the Side
Realizing they needed to evacuate from their rapidly flooding home, one couple in north Houston called their local Chick-Fil-A to order two chicken burritos—along with a boat. Luckily for them, the manager *did* own a boat, which she promptly sent over along with her husband (and the burritos, we assume?) to rescue them.
4. A Celeb Chef Gives Back
Michelin-starred celeb chef and Top Chef guest judge José Andrés, who has a nonprofit called World Central Kitchen, flew into Dallas and then drove to Houston alone (stopping at a Target to load up on $1,900 worth of pasta supplies) to personally cook for displaced Harvey victims and relief workers. He's also organized the Texas Strong Chef Network to recruit chefs to help his efforts; so far, he's signed on more than 125 volunteers. Andrés expects to stay in Houston at least until next week.
5. Pizza Love for the Police
Frank's Pizza in downtown Houston may have been open on and off throughout Harvey, but that didn't stop them from responding to a tweet from the Houston Police Department seeking out food for tireless officers on the job. Frank's delivered several fresh pies directly to the local police force, amidst cheers and applause from the grateful officers. And that pizza probably tasted like the best ever in life.
To help those affected by Hurricane Irma go to redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS or text the word IRMA to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
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