As Houston and the rest of America and the world ground through another challenging month fighting the coronavirus, HPOU maintained its personal protection equipment supply chain as well as the unique Michael-Berry-inspired food chain for HPD officers.
“We have to keep thanking Michael Berry (KTRH radio) for organizing this entire thing,” HPOU 3rd Vice President Tom Hayes said. “He came up with the idea to get donors from throughout the city to provide $2,500 to individual restaurants and sandwich shops to help them in tough times as they provide food for officers.”
Hayes said the Monday-through-Friday meal distribution process has produced all kinds of good food – “from burgers to pasta, fine quality meat dishes and the whole array of entrees from a variety of places. For instance, we’ve seen the Houston international restaurant scene at its very best.”
Hayes stressed that HPOU followed up Berry’s lead by working closely with these special vendors to make sure the food was carefully packed to meet the needs of HPD officers with a limited time to eat lunch.
“They had to pack it the way we wanted it,” the 3rd vice president explained. “We have had distancing requirements in place. It all worked out perfectly.”
The Badge & Gun is striving to publish the names of each and every donor and the dutiful Houston eateries who have participated in this process, which is very much reminiscent of the dedication they exhibited in the aftermath of 2017’s Hurricane Harvey.
Program coordinator Ray Hunt also praised the graciousness and generosity of the restaurant participants and revealed an important fact: “Michael Berry called every single day to make sure everything was going as planned. He’s always been – and always will be – a great friend of Houston police officers.”
“Officers need to remember the restaurants who were there for us,” Hayes pointed out. “There were those there following the Knox celebration of life, to cite another example of dedication to Houston officers. These are restaurants we need to frequent once the COVID-19 virus is behind us.”
The operation has run like clockwork. The vendor of the day is instructed to provide the foodstuffs at 11 a.m. each weekday at the Union parking lot. The first 200 officers in line receive the meal of the day. “It happens every day at 11 o’clock,” Hayes said. “That means officers are in line at 10:45 most days.”
Through the month of May HPOU continued to hand out personal protection equipment (masks and gloves) when needed as well as refill bottles of hand sanitizer. Hayes said this particular supply chain would continue as long as needed. He said the Union has a sanitizer supply that “will not end any time soon.”
Hunt provided details of the $2,500 donors to restaurants and sandwich shops and, as expected, the participating businesses who have been bringing hot meals to the HPOU for distribution. The last day of the food distribution program was May 31.
Chronologically, the participants were:
- May 1 – Food provided by Subway (380 meals), sponsored by Wild Birds Unlimited. This supply also served cadets and personnel at the Academy.
- May 4 — Food provided by Treebeards and sponsored by Wes Bryant with Partners in Building
- May 5 — Food provided by Fajita Pete’s sponsored by Curt Joslin of Joslin Construction, Porter Texas
- May 6 – Food provided by George’s Pastaria sponsored by Kelly Still with SCV Valve Company in Santa Fe, Texas
- May 7 — Food provided by Lamonte’s and sponsored by Robert Gonzales of Gonzales Commercial Electric. He is also doing the same for Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office on another day!
- May 8 – Food provided by Matt Brice of Federal Grill and sponsored by Kenny Duncan of Houston Coins
- May 11 – Food provided by Buffalo Grill and AGAIN sponsored by Kenny Duncan of Houston Coins
- May 12 – Food provided by Piatto’s and sponsored by Alan ONeill of Abacus Plumbing.
- May 13 – Food provided by Christy’s Seafood and sponsored by Chris and Amber Helms of Helms Landscape Design, LLC.
- May 14 – Food provided by Phoenicia, sponsored by Billy Brown of Aqueduct Plumbing
- May 15 – Food provided by Gus’s Fried Chicken, sponsored by individuals Karen and Frank Rosales
- May 16 – Food provided by Taco Deli and sponsored by Ben Barlow from Hervey-Barlow Specialty Contractors.
- May 19 – Food provided by Demeris BBQ and sponsored by Tracy Holland from Nomad Utilities
- May 20 – Food provided by Ziggy at Kenny and Ziggy’s Deli and sponsored by Ben Spell of Good Ranchers, LLC
- May 21 – Food provided by Cyclone Anayas and sponsored by Corey Tumey of the Corey Tumey Law Group
- May 22 – Food provided by Whistle Stop Café in Conroe and sponsored by Barbara Bourland from Neumate Online Dating Service
- May 26 – Food provided by Blake’s BBQ and sponsored by Edd Hendee, owner of Taste of Texas.
- May 27 – Food provided by Goode Company and sponsored by Don Sweat of Vicon Equipment Company.
- May 27 (Also had dinner) – Food provided again by Gus’s Fried Chicken and sponsored by Texas Grand Ranch.
- May 28 — Food provided by Hub Cap Grill and sponsored by Peter Nelson of Nelson Water Gardens.
- May 29 – “The Last Supper” – Food provided by China Garden and sponsored by Randy Jamison of 290 Grass.