Deer Park ISD remains closed but 1 school stayed busy making 3,000 free meals for students

Courtney Fischer Image
Friday, January 27, 2023
Pasadena and Deer Park officials opening joint recovery center today
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The Pasadena Convention Center will be open Friday to help residents in the Pasadena and Deer Park areas figure out what next steps to take.

DEER PARK, Texas (KTRK) -- If your home was destroyed or received major damage, this is for you. Government agencies, nonprofits, and local businesses will be at the Pasadena Convention Center at about 1 p.m. to help residents in the Pasadena and Deer Park areas figure out what next steps to take.

Three days after an EF-3 tornado ripped through Deer Park, the school district remains closed but Carpenter Elementary was busy Friday morning.

Teachers and staff were handing out 3,000 free breakfast plates and lunch to-go bags.

"I think it's wonderful there are people that are out here doing all the stuff for people that are less fortunate," Tim, a parent, said.

An ABC13 crew captured video of buses leaving with 1,000 of the 3,000 meals to be handed out to Deer Park ISD students living at apartment complexes.

The consensus from parents picking up free meals was that their kids are ready to go back to school. Routine is what parents have been telling us their kids crave.

"The little one is like, 'Mom, I was scared, but I'm ready to go back to school,'" Meaghan, a mother, said.

The tornado ripped these children away from their routine, and that's why Maria Simons, the head of Deer Park ISD's nutrition program, is in the kitchen on Friday.

"The kids need to be fed, and there's a lot that don't have power still and are struggling to get through, so we want to do this to help them," Simons said. "Right now we're doing ham and cheese, we're doing yogurt mighty meals."

She doesn't have power herself, and she says it'll be at least two more days until it's restored, but she's there thinking of others.

"We're doing it one sandwich at a time," Simons said.

In a press conference on Thursday, Deer Pak Mayor Jerry Mouton said the city was not accepting donations at the time and were working on organizing a drop-off location.

The Deer Park Nutrition Center at 5026 Luella Ave. and Heavenly Couture Boutique at 5014 Luella Ave. partnered up as donation drop-off locations. The nutrition center will be open for donations on Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., and the boutique will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

They are asking for the following donations:

  • Adult diapers
  • Wipes
  • Canned goods
  • Gift cards
  • Water bottles
  • Clothes

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