The Numinous food truck is heading to Orange, Texas, and maybe Lake Charles, Louisiana, on Friday, Aug. 28, to feed anyone who needs a hot meal and a spiritual lift as they clean up in the aftermath of Hurricane Laura.
The Category 4 storm hit the Texas-Louisiana border at about 1 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 27.
“Today, we are evaluating where the need is,” Alex Payson said. “We are getting packed up and will head out Friday morning.”
Payson and his wife, Kathy, own Numinous Coffee Roasters in Marble Falls.
Payson and the Numinous staff first started helping in crisis areas after Hurricane Harvey hit the Texas coast in August 2017. They took a boat to Katy, near Houston, and Port Arthur to help with rescues.
“I realized my skill set is more in line with feeding people,” Payson said. He returned from Harvey and began setting up a food truck. “Our goal was to have a food truck with power and water so we could go where there was no power and water and feed people hot meals and give them love and moral support.”
Last year, they went all the way to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to work with a group flying food to the Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian.
The food truck was put to work most recently during The Trails Fire in Horseshoe Bay to feed first responders and evacuees. It was purchased with help from the Marble Falls Economic Development Corp. Supplies are bought with coffee shop revenue and community donations.
“There are definitely many people in the community who help out,” Payson said. “Helping people in a time need is one of our passions and driving forces. The means tend to take care of themselves.”
When Payson says “we,” he means everyone at the shop as well as its customers.
“The whole team supports the effort,” he said. “And all the customers who support Numinous make it possible for us to respond to these disasters.”
The Numinous food truck is a community asset, Payson added, one that a number of people have been working on for quite some time to make happen.
“We feel called to serve, and this is the way we know how to serve,” Payson said. “We are not firefighters, police officers, or doctors, but we know how to feed people a hot meal.”
Numinous works in tandem with the Highland Lakes Crisis Network. The Crisis Network is accepting monetary donations and monitoring the situation to see if volunteers teams are needed. The network is also working with local camps to provide shelter to refugees of the storm.
“We are supporting Alex and what he’s doing, and if he needs more support, we may put together some volunteer teams to go and help him,” said Kevin Naumann, director of the Highland Lakes Crisis Network. “At this time, we are watching and waiting to see what’s needed.”
To make a donation to the Hurricane Laura recovery effort through the Highland Lakes Crisis Network, visit the website and click on the blue Donate button. You also may call 325-423-3662 for more information.
“We try and find where the need is greatest,” Payson said. “In these situations, nearly everybody can use a boost, whether it’s a first responder or someone in a shelter or cleaning out their yard. People really are happy when they see folks care enough to help, even when Marble Falls is not affected. It gives them morale and a spiritual boost.”