Hearts and Hands of Baytown (HHB) is a ministry of Iglesia Cristo Viene, established in 2014 to alleviate the physical and emotional hunger of those in need in a dignified and supportive way. Client Choice is a more efficient way of distributing food, providing an avenue for clients to make positive choices with confidence and without judgment, a small step toward self- sufficiency, while decreasing waste and risk of potential harm for those with dietary restrictions.
HHB takes a comprehensive approach in providing supporting services with collaborating partnerships that not only work to eradicate hunger but to address the underlying causes.
Our Vision is to turn the safety net into a spring board, elevating without enabling.
A top-rated Houston Food Bank Healthy Pantry, HHB is a multi-faceted organization built on strong volunteer engagement that has become the benchmark for Client Choice pantries across the country. The Client Choice Fresh Market, Food For Change Fresh Market, Food Fairs across the community, Retail Partnerships, Nutritional Classes, Chronic Conditions Classes, Senior Feeding Programs, Work Study Programs, Houston Food Bank delivery HUB to smaller agencies and the strong collaborations, all combine make Hearts and Hands of Baytown the dynamic organization it is today.
In our Fresh Markets, clients are invited to select from a wide variety of season fresh produce, low-fat diary, lean proteins, and numerous other choices, as they shop side by side with a dedicated volunteer. Our inviting registration area welcomes our patrons with a coffee, snack and resource bar to provide valuable outreach health and social service information. Foods to encourage healthy eating are front and center displaying tip sheets, recipes, nutritional information, healthy choice examples, and rotating cooking demos nudging clients toward healthier choices. As part of our commitment to improve the overall health and wellness of the community, we serve as a collaborating organization for Be Well™ Baytown. Be Well Baytown is an initiative of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center sponsored by ExxonMobil. The overall aim of the initiative is to mobilize the community to promote wellness and stop cancer before it starts. As part of this initiative, in partnership with the United Way of Greater Baytown Area and Chambers County, we have supported and trained multiple food pantries to develop sustainable strategies for providing fresh fruits and vegetables to their clients, and delivered more than 2 million pounds of healthy food to the community.
As a healthy pantry we increase accessibility of nutritious foods while promoting healthy choices through small environmental changes. Priding ourselves on education, presentation and engagement, “nudges” and “foods to encourage” are placed throughout the pantry to encourage choices lower in sugar or salt, packed in own choices, high fiber, lean protein, and 100% whole grain options.
With a goal to not only shorten the line but to affect real change, we are developing pathways to sustainability for our pantry; based on the Food For Change model and enlisting the help of local agencies we hope to turn the safety net into a trampoline for families desiring to partner with us in this effort.