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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Announces Over $3M Raised for Texas Relief, Visits Houston Food Bank

Newsweek logo Newsweek 2/20/2021 James Crowley
a group of people sitting in a box: Congresswomen Sheila Jackson Lee, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sylvia Garcia help distribute food at the Houston Food Bank on February 20, 2021 in Houston, Texas. © Elizabeth Conley / POOL / AFP/Getty Congresswomen Sheila Jackson Lee, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sylvia Garcia help distribute food at the Houston Food Bank on February 20, 2021 in Houston, Texas.

New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez announced on Saturday that her relief efforts to help Texans facing hardships after the winter storms have passed $3 million. She also volunteered at Houston Food Bank with Congresswomen Sheila Jackson Lee and Sylvia Garcia, who both represent districts in Texas.

In a Saturday afternoon tweet, Ocasio-Cortez announced that she had passed the $3 million mark in her fundraising efforts. She also praised the Houston Food Bank for putting the money raised towards delivering 30,000 meal boxes over the next two days.

The Democrat explained that she'd also partnered with 11 more Texas organizations in her efforts, and encouraged people to keep giving.

"Let's keep going," she wrote, before linking to a page where people can donate.

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Ocasio-Cortez also showed some clips from inside the food bank on her Instagram stories.

"What [sic] great about food banks like this one is that they are major distributors of food aid. Not only does the bank give directly to people, but they also provide food to mutual aid operations, community centers, etc. to get to hard to reach communities," she wrote in one story.

The donation page details all the organizations that her campaign is splitting donations between. Besides the Houston Food Bank, donations are also being distributed to Family Eldercare; Southeast Texas Food Bank; Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley; Corazon Ministries; ECHO (Ending Community Homelessness Coalition); Feeding Texas; South Texas Food Bank; North Texas Food Bank; Food Bank of West Central Texas; Central Texas Food Bank; and the Bridge Homeless Recovery Center.

"Nearly 3 million households across Texas are still without power," the donation page read. "These groups are working around the clock to assist houseless, hungry and senior Texans in Travis and Dallas County, and beyond."

Forbes released a video of the three congresswoman helping to put together the meal boxes at the food bank. In a press conference before volunteering, Ocasio-Cortez spoke about the relief efforts.

"We hit $3.2 million in assistance for Texans across the state just last night, and I think this shows that New York stands with you, but the whole country stands with you," she says. "As you mentioned Rep. Garcia, we're in Texas, so we gotta go big with that support."

Before taking questions, Ocasio-Cortez said that the Houston Food Bank would provide assistance to all, regardless of immigration status, income and housing. "We want to help everybody. You need it? We'll be there. That's the New York spirit. That's the Texan spirit. That's the American spirit," she said.

Ocasio-Cortez had earlier called for federal support for Texas and policy decisions to prevent similar devastation to what Texas has experienced in recent days.

The White House announced Saturday that President Joe Biden declared a major disaster exists in Texas and has called in federal assistance to help state and local efforts following the devastating weather.

Newsweek reached out to a press contact for Ocasio-Cortez for comment.

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