FAIRMOUNT, Tex. (KT) – Kentucky Baptist Disaster Relief feeding teams are getting rave reviews deep in the heart of Texas, where smoked barbecue is practically a pastime.
For the past few days, there has been a lot of lip-smacking goodness coming from the smokers outside the Fairmount Volunteer Fire Department where the feeding teams from Kentucky are cooking up a storm.
They are providing about 450 meals a day to the residents and workers along with passing out 300 MREs (meals ready to eat) and several cases of water, said Karen Smith, the Blue Hat of the feeding team.
“They smoked pork butt all day (Thursday) and we came in and pulled it this morning,” she said. “We’re having pulled pork barbecue sandwiches, baked beans and cookies, and, yes, it’s a hit! Even in Texas, where they know how to barbecue.”
Smith said the residents of the small community are not only getting something in their bellies but have had their souls fed too.
“Here is what I always tell people when I train,” she said. “The reason that feeding is the priority is that’s what has to be done first. We have to fill the feeding teams. It doesn’t matter how your yard looks or if you have a clean basement if you’re hungry. We come to feed their belly and feed their soul. Every person is talked to, offered to pray with and we give out Bibles.”
Smith has heard both the heartbreaking and heartwarming stories through the residents, some who have had to recover from other hurricanes like Laura that swept through last week. They are living in camp houses in Fairmount because a home in Beaumont, Texas, was destroyed by a previous hurricane or flood.
“This community feels like it was on the forgotten end of the county because it’s the last one before the lake (Lake Alexandria in Louisiana),” she said. “They didn’t know we were coming, and when they realized we were here to cook they said they couldn’t believe somebody finally came to them. When we told them we came all the way from Kentucky, they were even more moved.”
Smith said the first few days have been busy but the renewed fellowship with the Kentucky Disaster Relief co-workers has been a giant blessing.
“I put on my Facebook post that getting to go out with Disaster Relief and traveling down here was a real high for me,” she said.
Smith said she has been able to speak with many women in the area who are widows and living in the camp houses after losing their homes to a hurricane. Their husbands had passed and in many cases, the widows work together for meals and to take care of each other.
“One out of six will have a big generator that can run everything,” she said. “They will pitch in on gas and food. We heard that over and over from many of these women.”
The feeding team is expected to be in the hurricane-affected areas for another week, Smith said.