Chef-led Organization is Helping Support Federal Workers Without Income
Friday, January 11 marked the first day that federal employees went without a paycheck since the government shutdown on December 22. In Galveston County, tens of thousands of employees at branches of the IRS, TSA, Johnson Space Center, and the Coast Guard are impacted. To help those employees and their families, one chef is going the extra mile by leading an effort to organize care boxes.
Mary Bass, executive chef of the forthcoming Katie’s Seafood House in Galveston, is the founder of Chef’s Table Charities. Bass started the organization after Hurricane Harvey to help teachers of her child’s school who were displaced by the storm. “I set a goal to just raise $200 for each of them so they could go get a hot meal or rent a hotel room or anything they needed,” Bass said. “When I raised that in an hour I just kept it going. After the shooting at Santa Fe [High School] last year, we began the process of becoming a full non-profit. Now we’re taking on projects as we find them and doing as much good as we can where we can,” she continued
The organization’s focus is within Galveston County, with the bulk of current efforts taking place at Bass’ home. “Right now, we’re looking for off-site storage with round-the-clock access because my house can only fit so many supplies,” Bass said. Items being collected for the care boxes include baby formula and food, snacks for kids, diapers, toiletries, toilet paper, laundry detergent, dish soap, cleaning supplies, trash bags, feminine hygiene products and canned goods. Many of the furloughed workers may be eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) program which allows households to buy food but doesn’t cover other household essentials. Chef’s Table Charities is bridging that gap by providing for those essential paper goods, cleaning supplies and medical items. If off-site storage is secured, Chef’s Table Charities will also need volunteers to help fill the care boxes. The organization’s Facebook page will have details about volunteering.
They also have several drop-off sites where people take donated items. A list of those locations is at the end of this article.
Bass also arranged for area restaurants to donate a portion of sales to Chef’s Table Charities. Little Bella Mia located at 2471 Gulf Freeway in League City will be donating 10 percent of their sales on Wednesday, January 23. Subsequent events are being organized and details will be posted on the organization’s Facebook page, including sign-up sheets for future volunteer opportunities.
The government may be at a standstill, but that isn’t stopping Galveston and Houston area residents and one big-hearted chef from working to provide for people. If and when federal employees are able to go back to work and receive full pay, Chef’s Table Charities will continue to serve the community in other capacities and be one of many examples of the enduring hospitality and kindness found in the restaurant industry.
Drop sites for Chef’s Table Charities
Southern Sass Vinyl & More
2047 W Main Street Ste A6 League City, Tx
Monday to Friday 10 am to 6pm and Saturday 10 am to 4 pm
2350 Dickinson Avenue Suite A Dickinson, Tx
Monday through Friday 10 am to 6 pm and Saturday 11am to 5 pm
7887 FM 2004 Hitchcock, Tx
Monday through Friday 8 am to 5 pm
G&G Kustom Designing
219 West Sealy Street Alvin, Tx
Monday through Saturday 10 am to 5pm
Mall of the Mainland
10000 Emmett F Lowery Ste 1136 Texas City, Tx
Monday through Saturday 9 am to 6 pm
College of the Mainland – Enrollment Center
1200 Amburn Rd Texas City, Tx
Monday through Friday 9 am to 4 pm