Urban Air Adventure Park at 25307 Kingsland Blvd. in Katy is currently holding a food drive to help Katy Christian Ministries keep its larders stocked for clients in need of food assistance. During …
Urban Air Adventure Park at 25307 Kingsland Blvd. in Katy is currently holding a food drive to help Katy Christian Ministries keep its larders stocked for clients in need of food assistance. During spring, food banks like the KCM’s food pantry see decreases in donations of food and personal care items.
“It’s in spring that food drives typically dwindle down,” said KCM Food Pantry Director Krissy Viau. “This season into summer is always a struggle to keep things stocked and meet the rising demand for food assistance.”
KCM Executive Director Deysi Crespo added, “Just when families are finding ways to overcome their financial difficulties, the most recent winter storm disaster has made it more challenging for our vulnerable neighbors in our community. It’s a disaster on top of another disaster. And the need for food and financial assistance has grown exponentially as we witness it on a daily basis.”
Crespo said the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has hit the Katy area community hard and created financial crises for families throughout the area. KCM serves a tri-county area that includes Harris, Fort Bend and Waller counties.
Urban Air Adventure Park in Katy has partnered with KCM throughout the month of March for a food drive.
“People have been hit hard with the pandemic. Many people are still struggling to make ends meet, let alone have enough food on their table to feed themselves and their families,” said Urban Air Katy’s co-owner Mike Lapp. “Urban Air is proud to team up with KCM in this effort. We are committed to helping those in need in our community whenever possible.”
Visitors to the adventure-themed park will have the chance to give back to local community households and residents, and at the same time, choose to receive either a free Basic Pass or an ICEE when they donate three cans of non-perishable food items and/or personal care items. The Basic Pass grants access to the trampoline attractions.
“We have trampolines on the floor and on the walls. Kids love bouncing off of them,” said Urban Air Katy General Manager, Darian Molina. “Also, people can upgrade to more attractions like our Sky Rider (coaster) at an additional cost if they want to.”
KCM, a 501(C)3 non-profit organization that has been helping local families and individuals fight poverty, food insecurity, domestic violence, and sexual assault since the mid-1980s, collects and distributes food to around 100-150 families daily in the Katy area.
“KCM tries to fulfill their needs by asking them what is useful and stocking up on those most-needed items,” said Viau. “Since we have a lot of young families in the community, we’re always looking to replenish our inventory with diapers, formula, baby wipes, laundry detergent, shampoo, body wash, deodorant and toothpaste.”
Food donations, such as canned tuna and chicken, sit at the top of the list. “We can never have enough. On an average, we go through at least 200 per day,” Viau said. Other in-demand goods are canned vegetables and fruits, high-protein canned beans (black, pinto), rice, peanut butter, chili, Spaghetti-O's, and soup.
Click here to visit the KCM needs list.
Once the food drive wraps on March 31, 2021, all donations will be collected and taken to KCM’s Food Pantry. There, they will be stored and distributed at the KCM food pantry, where those facing food insecurity can drive up, obtain a pre-made shopping list and relax in their cars while a KCM volunteer gathers their items.
Viau said it’s not uncommon to see people get teary-eyed when they are brought their box to their car.
“We receive fresh vegetables and fruits every day, even fresh meats and sweets are donated by our food partners like the Houston Food Bank and local tri-county grocery stores. So with every order, along with the canned items, we always add fresh produce, fresh meats and a bonus surprise, like fancy condiments or a large cake from our local Costco or Sam’s Club.”
So far, local families and kids have come to the park to help, donate, and play, Molina said.
“We can always use more donations, but it’s been really great to host this,” Molina said. “We’re really proud to be a part of the Katy Community.”
Crespo said KCM appreciates the park’s help in feeding the community. “Our staff and volunteers remain committed to providing the support necessary towards the recovery of food-insecure families and individuals. This is why we are extremely thankful to our community partners such as Urban Air Katy for joining forces with us to transform lives together.”