From the BakerRipley Food Fairs

The agency is evolving its services and programs to best serve our neighbors during these times.

As the situation in our region evolves, BakerRipley staff is focused on supporting our neighbors – quickly responding to their most critical needs, such as isolation for seniors and food insecurity to name a few.

Our teams are working together to quickly pivot strategies and evolve our programs to meet the challenges that our communities face during this time. 

Their determination and desire to help is an inspiration for all of us. That’s the spirit of BakerRipley and what we’ve been doing for 113 years.

Furthermore, we wanted to take a moment to introduce our readers to some of our colleagues working at the food fairs, ensuring our neighbors don’t go hungry.

The following is just a small sample of our staff working across all our communities.

A big thanks to the Houston Food Bank for providing the food for our neighbors.

Making sure they have enough to eat

“A lot of the neighborhoods that we serve are “food deserts”, so making sure that the families have enough to eat is really big to me. Just the other day, exhausted after helping out at a food fair, I was unloading my car at home when I saw a family in my neighborhood unloading our Ripley House food bags. That made me feel like it’s making an impact in my neighborhood, in my block.” – Rachel Herrera, Community Youth Leader

“These types of situations (such as this pandemic) give us an opportunity to show our strength and be out there for our community. Until now, I have been working in all of the food fairs. I’m convinced that in these situations, we have to support each other. As a Community Engagement Manager, I teach this to the members as well.” – Julian Ochoa, Community Engagement Manager

Adapting to the new normal

“We’ve come out to every single food fair. Even though this is a terrible situation right now, we’ve been trying to be proactive. Really, this is the work, you come in, help the people, and adjust, all while adapting to what the new norm is. Our CEO said, just adapt to the new norm and that’s what we are doing.” – Milton Guardado, Manager of Community Development

“I enjoy doing hard labor, that’s one of the reasons why I volunteer. But most importantly, we are helping out our community. A lot of our neighbors are food insecure. They don’t have enough food to feed everyone in the house. Many of the community members depend on these food fairs. They really look forward to it, and it helps them save money. It definitely benefits the community, and they appreciate it.” – Daniel Meza, Community Engagement Manager

“I started off as a volunteer with BakerRipley, so it reminds me of those times. And what I love doing – is just helping people out. I love getting to spend time with my colleagues, and I definitely miss them. To me, it’s not a problem coming out here to help. It’s a huge task and it’s a large need in the community. That’s what we are here for.” – Rocio Witte, Program Coordinator

Safety Measures

We are committed to the safety of our staff and neighbors.

  • All staff members will answer screening questions and have temperature check
  • All staff members will wear gloves and remain 6 feet apart from one another. 
  • Distance markers will be set up using painter’s tape.  Masks will also be distributed to staff members.
  • The majority of food will be distributed via drive-thru
  • Separate area for walk-ups to receive food will be created:
    • will hold at least 15 families, keeping them 6 ft apart from all sides
    • staff and volunteers will have 6 ft distance markers behind the tables to keep them apart from each other