McDonald's workers unload bottled water at the GRB.
McDonald's workers unload bottled water at the GRB.
Photo courtesy of McDonald's

How Fast-Food Chains Helped Texas During and After Hurricane Harvey

Fast-food chains have been helping out in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, donating millions of dollars and offering free food to evacuees. Here's how.

Local McDonald’s restaurants have been assisting with relief efforts by donating thousands of water bottles to the local Red Cross, and open McDonald’s restaurants in the Houston area are providing free meals to first responders.

The McRig has been grilling cheeseburgers and salting french fries on site at the George R. Brown Convention Center, bringing smiles and hot food to evacuees and first responders. More than 1,500 meals have been served.

Working at the McRig.EXPAND
Working at the McRig.
Photo courtesy of McDonald's

In addition to a $1 million donation to the Red Cross, the McDonald's Owner/Operators Association of Greater Houston has donated $250,000 to the American Red Cross Gulf Coast Houston Region.

“As local business people, we have seen firsthand how Hurricane Harvey has affected our customers, employees, and neighbors,” said Matthew Kades, president of the McDonald’s Owner/Operators Association of Greater Houston, in a press release. “We continue to pray for the safety of each and every family affected by this terrible storm. We are confident Houston will recover from the incredible damage caused by Hurricane Harvey, and we hope this donation will help us get there a little quicker.”

Papa John's
donated $1 of every purchase nationwide on Sunday, September 3, toward  J.J. Watt Foundation’s You Caring Houston Flood Relief Fund and The Salvation Army’s Flood Relief Effort, with a minimum $500,000 donation.

Whataburger has pledged $1 million to its Whataburger Family Foundation to help take care of its employees who have been affected by Harvey, along with $150,000 to the Red Cross and $500,000 to local food banks.

Pizza Hut staff in Sugar Land delivered pizzas via kayak to flooded residents nearby last week, the Houston Chronicle reported. Shayda Habib, the manager of Pizza Hut on West Airport, told the paper, "The people in the houses didn't expect us to come. It was so nice to see their smiles after so much gloom."

"To be honest, we just cook bacon and eggs. But sometimes you need bacon and eggs," a Waffle House official told NPR last week, which reported that the company sent "jump teams" of managers from states including Ohio and Georgia to keep the restaurants open during the storm. Waffle House is known for its ability to stay open under the worst possible conditions.

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