A local soup kitchen has adapted its approach to help more people throughout Bastrop County, including in Elgin, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In The Streets - Hands Up High Ministry is a soup kitchen and a shelter for families located at 987 North State Highway 95 between Elgin and Bastrop.
The ministry began offering bagged lunches in mid-March at their soup kitchen when the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic began to reach Bastrop County. When they could no longer let people come in to eat, they offered these meals through a drive-through on Mondays through Fridays from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. They also began distributing meals throughout the county, such as at the Bastrop Housing Authority on Wednesdays and at the Bastrop Public Library on Wednesdays and Fridays. Another of their weekly spots is the parking lot of D2, formerly Regulator’s, in Elgin, on Tuesdays from 1 to 3 p.m.; they will begin serving there on Fridays as well. Then, starting on April 17, the ministry began offering hamburgers at Greater Galilee Baptist Church in Elgin on Friday afternoons from 4 to 6 p.m.
According to Roland Nava, the founder and CEO of In The Streets - Hands Up High Ministry, they make 500 bagged lunches for people throughout Bastrop County; on Tuesdays, he added, they give out between 125 and 150 lunches at the Elgin location. During their first time stationed at Greater Galilee Baptist Church in Elgin on Friday, April 17, they gave out about 20 hamburgers, but Nava said they expect to see more people in future weeks since that first day was rainy.
As someone who has been homeless, Nava said he knows what it feels like to be hungry.
“There’s a lot of hungry children out there, and I remember being that child,” he said. “I’m just doing what the Lord put in my heart, because I know what it feels like.”
Nava said the ministry’s biggest need right now is financial support so that they can continue to provide meals for those who need them. He said it costs about $1.50 to make a bagged lunch for one child for a day.
“School is already cancelled for the rest of the year, and now summer’s here, and some of the kids were even depending on summer school meals,” he said. “So we need to continue doing this. … If we get more support or more sponsorship, we’ll be able to have more days of doing it.”
Nava said some children depend on school to eat breakfast and lunch, and some of these families are not able to travel to get meals currently provided by the schools.
“This is a time that the county should pull together, because there’s a lot of children being affected by this,” he said. “With schools being closed, we understand they’re being cautious for the safety of the children, but it’s time for other people, organizations and nonprofits to step up and make sure to catch the ones who are falling through the gaps.
“Hunger is a serious thing,” Nava emphasized. “It’s a very big need right now.”
More information about In The Streets - Hands Up High Ministry can be found at www.itshuh.org.
Read the original article posted online and written by the Elgin Courier Articles.