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Thetas Support Give A Crock Campaign

Pooja Salhotra
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Thetas

Members of the Houston Alumnae Chapter of Kappa Alpha Theta (pictured, from left) Dina Ormiston, Judy Ann McCartney, Linda Brown Mueller, Suzanne Caram, Cooky Mays and Maura McCarthy prepare to pack crockpots. (Photo: Pooja Salhotra) 

On a rainy Wednesday morning, about 20 alumnae sorority sisters gathered in Judy Ann McCartney’s foyer in West University Place, orbiting a dining table piled high with produce from Trader Joe’s. 

As each woman circled the table, they grabbed an onion, a large potato, a tomato, a carrot and a celery stalk – all the vegetables needed to make Marcia Smart’s Vegetable & Rice Soup. They placed the veggies in an Evert Fresh bag, known to extend the life of produce, and then packed the veggies into a box containing a crockpot along with rice and seasoning. Once 50 boxes were assembled, the women – all members of the Houston Alumnae Chapter of Kappa Alpha Theta – loaded the crockpots into a refrigerated van parked in Judy’s driveway. 

In packaging the crockpots, the Thetas were helping launch the “Give a Crock” campaign, a pilot program created by food rescue organization Second Servings of Houston. Through the program, low-income individuals who live in efficiency apartments at New Hope Housing – an organization dedicated to providing affordable housing and support services to Houston’s most vulnerable populations – can opt into receiving a crockpot. Because their apartments do not have stovetops, the residents do not have an economical way to cook fresh produce in their rooms.  

Judy Ann McCartney, Annette Boatwright

Judy Ann McCartney and Annette Boatwright pack vegetables for New Hope Housing. (Photo: Pooja Salhotra)

“We deliver all this beautiful produce from Trader Joe’s and other distributors, and then they have to use a common kitchen or microwave,” explained Second Servings founder Barbara Bronstein. “The Give a Crock campaign is designed to enable low-income residents at New Hope Housing and other properties to cook healthy, economical meals all year long.”

The program officially launched on Wednesday, Oct. 16, when Second Servings delivered 50 crockpots to New Hope Housing’s Harrisburg location. Second Servings plans to deliver a total of 1,000 crockpots across New Hope Housing’s eight locations by summer 2020 and then extend it to other charities.  

“It’s a great thing for us,” said New Hope Housing’s Manager for Communications Leslie Friedman. “I imagine it will benefit the residents tremendously. We put signs on each residents’ door about the program, and we’ve already had great feedback.” 

Barbara Bronstein, Debbie Pedrick,

Barbara Bronstein of Second Servings helps Theta Debbie Pedrick load a crockpot into the van. (Photo: Pooja Salhotra)

The Houston Thetas has been supporting Second Servings since 2018, when the food rescue organization applied for and received a grant from the Thetas, helping fund their third refrigerated van. The van is what allows Second Servings to procure unsold produce, dairy and meat from places like Trader Joe’s and deliver that food to those in need. 

The Thetas’ October meeting always features one of the grant beneficiaries, and Houston Theta president Suzanne Caram says she was eager for the group to participate in an impactful service activity. 

“We wanted to feel like we were making a community impact, not just handing a check to someone but physically helping this group fulfill their mission,” she said. 

Editor’s Note: Read more about Second Servings in Andria Frankfort’s feature here.

  • Packages to donate

    Second Servings created these packages to donate to low-income residents of New Hope Housing. (Photo: Pooja Salhotra) 

  • Martha Jones, Emily Bolin, Margaret Buescher,

    Martha Jones, Emily Bolin and Margaret Buescher unintentionally donned matching leopard print. (Photo: Pooja Salhotra) 

  • Packages to donate
  • Martha Jones, Emily Bolin, Margaret Buescher,

More photos

Packages to donate

Second Servings created these packages to donate to low-income residents of New Hope Housing. (Photo: Pooja Salhotra) 

Martha Jones, Emily Bolin, Margaret Buescher,

Martha Jones, Emily Bolin and Margaret Buescher unintentionally donned matching leopard print. (Photo: Pooja Salhotra) 

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