Sixty pallets of hand sanitizer arrived at NACC Disaster Services (NACC) headquarters on Friday, February 26 for distribution to the local community.
Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, NACC distributed millions of dollars’ worth of hand sanitizer at a time when it was hard to come by.
Besides hand sanitizer, NACC provided the homeless and poorer communities around Houston with hot meals. Throughout March, April, May, June, and into July of last year, food was served from a safe distance out of emergency response vehicles (ERVs), which enabled NACC to continue serving while other agencies had to suspend operations due to safe distance policies.
“It was a little scary because of the whole pandemic, but it felt like an urgency or a need to supply to people who were homeless,” said Angela Ortega, NACC Director. “The people coming through the line were people who were locked in their homes and people who were losing their jobs.”
NACC often served food to police and firefighters who were quarantined, in addition to setting up the ERVs. The entire operation took all day and lasted into the night.
“We would get here to the office to begin prep around 10:00 or 11:00 am to make sure we had the ERVs ready. Cooks would start packaging the food for different places that it needed to go. Those were ready by 3:00 pm for delivery. Then we would start to load the ERV with hot food for the homeless.”
Partnering with Borden, NACC gave 15,000 gallons of milk per week to people suffering through uncertain times, struggling to simply pay for groceries.
“We would give to different churches, organizations, food pantries,” said Ortega. “Whatever organization was asking, we would supply to them.”
Free COVID testing sites were also set up at NACC Headquarters throughout the pandemic to serve those uninsured.
NACC partnered with the Correa Family Foundation and several other organizations to donate $3,000,000 worth of medical supplies to care for patients, especially those suffering from respiratory illnesses, those bedridden, and the elderly. The items were available to Houston during the COVID-19 crisis, and then donated to a public hospital in El Salvador.
The equipment included surgical equipment, exercise and rehabilitation machines, ventilators, high-tech manikins for CPR training, IV poles, chairs, cabinets, accessible toilets for disabled patients, and more.