Although only about a thousand people are staying at the George R. Brown Convention Center, thousands more show up there daily for services and meals. Jim Cox is busy filling bowls with salad.
Cox is a volunteer with Operation Compassion, a coalition of faith-based organizations created to feed the evacuees. Dr. Gary Moore is the senior associate pastor at Second Baptist Church. He says their church wanted to help and knew it would take thousands of people to pull it off. They contacted the City of Houston and Harris County and pledged to pay for all the meals served at the GRB.
While 30,000 volunteers sounds like a lot, the demand is high because so many people are being fed. Jim Culpepper is another volunteer who says they're feeding everyone who comes by.
The faith community estimates it could cost as much as $4 million to pay for the meals. Hundreds of churches, synagogues and mosques are contributing. Last week, the Baptists, Catholics and Buddhists were assigned to work together at the convention center. It takes about 3,000 volunteers per shift, four shifts per day. Darrin Cox is from New Orleans and says he's had two meals at the GRB served by the Operation Compassion volunteers.
Operation Compassion will continue to provide meals at the GRB through September.