Teaming Up to Feed the Needy

Highland Park United Methodist Church and Preston Hollow Catering teamed up to help serve people in need amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

Donations from church members support the caterers’ efforts to make initially 1,200 lunches daily for local shelters, including Austin Street, Stewpot, Genesis, and Wesley Rankin. They’ve also delivered meals to homeless residents at CitySquare, and on March 27, a day schools didn’t provide meals, church volunteers delivered to families of Dallas ISD students.

“Our plan is simple. Instead of bringing in volunteers to fill and deliver lunches for the needy, we hire out of work caterers to do it, essentially creating a works project initiative,” said the Rev. Paul Rasmussen, senior minister at Highland Park United Methodist Church.

“It’s been life-changing to me to see how many people are in need and how many people are generous.” -Joan Thompson

Joan Thompson, the owner of Preston Hollow Catering, praised the generosity that made their efforts possible. Preston Hollow Catering opened in the summer of 2003 to serve the Preston Hollow area, according to

She and her staff of about 25 deliver the meals directly to the shelters as part of the endeavor and have since scaled up their efforts to make up to 2,500 meals per day.

“The magnitude of the need in this city is beyond what anyone (can imagine). It’s been life-changing to me to see how many people are in need and how many people are generous,” Thompson said.

She added that she’s grateful to be able to keep her employees working despite increasing restrictions on gatherings and rules limiting restaurants to drive-through, pickup, or delivery service to prevent the spread of the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

“Employing my people is fabulous because they’ve been with me for many years,” Thompson said. “I’m proud to be part of this.”

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Rachel Snyder

Rachel Snyder, former deputy editor at People Newspapers, joined the staff in 2019, returning to her native Dallas-Fort Worth after starting her career at community newspapers in Oklahoma. One of her stories won first place in its category in the Oklahoma Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest in 2018. She’s a fan of puns and community journalism, not necessarily in that order.

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