Hundreds wait hours for free food at Houston Premium Outlets

CYPRESS, Texas (KTRK) -- Members of the National Guard are stepping in to help during critical times as they help distribute much-need food at the Houston Food Bank's super site distribution.

According to the food bank, the pandemic has doubled the need in the community for food and it's getting more requests for help than they did at any point during Hurricane Harvey.

Huge crowds of people began lining up hours before the distribution was slated to kick off on Wednesday at the Houston Premium Outlets in Cypress. Rows of cars filled the feeder road waiting to turn into the facility as early as 8 a.m. to receive food scheduled to start at 2 p.m.

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The video above shows rows of cars waiting to turn into the Houston Premium Outlets in Cypress hours before the food distribution was set to begin.

The Houston Food Bank organized the event in partnership with the nonprofit CY-Hope. Fifty National Guard troops handed out food and organized the crowds of people, and dozens of volunteers from across the area donned personal protective equipment such as masks and gloves to help with the distribution.

In total, nearly 300 guards received orientation at the food bank's headquarters on Monday. The food bank requested this help to make sure they can handle the need right now and to help out their volunteers, who have been non-stop since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

The distribution will continue until 8 p.m. on Wednesday.

This is the last time the distribution will take place at this location as the outlets are opening back up for curbside retail service on Friday.

For anyone who would like to help, you can text ABC13 to 41444 and select your donation amount.

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