The amazing and generous cooking team from Stone Energy brought Cajun cooking to Kingwood. Photo by Jacqueline Havelka

Good cooks with big hearts feed Kingwood

For one week in September, several employees from Stone Energy in Lafayette, La. answered the call to cook for Kingwood families affected by the flood. The company brought a literal convoy of trucks and RVs to Texas. They brought hundreds of pounds of chicken, sausage and hamburgers. The company had four teams in Texas: one in Beaumont, one in Port Arthur, one at Lakeway Baptist, and one in Kingwood at the Kingwood Bible Church on W. Lake Houston Pkwy. The team surveyed where the most damage was in Houston, and also looked at the areas they could easily get to.

“We came in off Highway 190 through Livingston and Cleveland to get to the Kingwood area,” the team said.

Stone Energy reached out to several local churches, and Kingwood Bible Pastor Greg Vandercamp met with the elders about their request. The cooking team’s needs were simple; they needed a parking lot, access to power, and an indoor bathroom. “The church got back with us really fast and had everything we needed,” the team said.

The team made nearly 5,000 meals in the first four days they were here. Local residents came by to pick up sausage po-boys, hamburgers and chicken stew. Some area residents called ahead with orders of 75 to 100 plates, and the team always had them ready to go at the designated time. The crew even had runners that delivered food to addresses around the Kingwood and Atascocita areas, for people who could not easily get to the church. They delivered food to The Enclave and Foster’s Mill, to name a few.

“It was so bad in those neighborhoods. We stood in the street and noticed the water mark on a house at two feet above our heads. We couldn’t believe the damage,” the team said. “The same thing happened in Baton Rouge a year ago, almost to the day.”

Before the team left Lafayette, they reached out to vendors they do business with and were overwhelmed with donations of supplies and money. Stone Energy does an annual gumbo cookoff benefiting United Way Acadiana, which serves about eight Louisiana parishes.

“When United Way found out what we were doing, they donated all these cleaning supplies – 100 buckets, cleaning kits, brooms and mops,” the team said.

The cooking team said that when Chief Operating Officer (COO) Keith Seilhan made the announcement Stone Energy would send cooking teams to Texas, there was no shortage of volunteers. “We still have a business to run, so many of us are working and cooking, and we’ve delegated our authority to people back home to get the job done,” the team explained.

Once the team arrived in Kingwood, the refrigerated truck they thought they had here never came through. They reached out to the Kroger on Northpark Drive and W. Lake Houston Pkwy. and the store generously made room in their own freezers for the cooking team to store their meat.

Stone Energy is an oil and gas exploration company in the Gulf of Mexico. They have one deepwater operation, and the company headquarters are in Lafayette with a small office in New Orleans and a recently closed office in Houston.

“Our COO is looking at our donations and the funding we have. We really want to come back to Houston again. We are not a big company, but we have a lot of strength with the people we have,” the team said.



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Jacqueline Havelka
Author: Jacqueline HavelkaEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
I am a rocket scientist turned writer. I worked at Lockheed Martin-Johnson Space Center for many years managing experiments on the Space Station and Shuttle, and I now own my own firm, Inform Scientific, specializing in technical and medical writing and research program management. I am a contributing correspondent to The Tribune, a Kingwood resident for 12 years, and proud mom to two Aggie sons.

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