People.com Politics Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Volunteers at Texas Food Bank While Helping Raise $3.2 Million in Relief "One of the places it's going is the Houston Food Bank," Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said of the fundraised money By Claudia Harmata Published on February 20, 2021 03:45 PM Share Tweet Pin Email From left: Sylvia Garcia, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Sheila Jackson Lee. Photo: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez/Twitter Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is volunteering at the Houston Food Bank as Texas residents continue to grapple with a deadly winter storm. On Saturday, the lawmaker from New York, 31, shared a video on Twitter with Texas Reps. Sylvia Garcia and Sheila Jackson Lee while packing meals for the non-profit organization. AOC also announced that she helped raise more than $3.2 million for relief organizations in the state. "We hit $3.2 MILLION in Texas relief support last night!" Ocasio-Cortez shared. "One of the places it's going is the Houston Food Bank. I'm visiting Reps. @JacksonLeeTX18 & @LaCongresista with volunteers to pack meals. The bank REALLY needs helping hands. Can you join a shift?" In addition, Ocasio-Cortez shared a link where people looking to help can sign up to volunteer their time with the food bank. What You Need to Know About the Crisis in Texas, from Power Outages to Water Issues The congresswoman had announced on Friday that she would be flying to Texas to "distribute supplies and help amplify needs & solutions" amid the crisis brought on by a severe winter storm. Texas was pummeled this week by winter weather that largely incapacitated the state's power grid, forcing blackouts and leaving millions without electricity and heat. Dozens of deaths have been linked to the storm. Since Thursday, Ocasio-Cortez has been soliciting donations for Texas via Act Blue, where funds are being split between a dozen organizations, including Feeding Texas, Family Eldercare and the Houston Food Bank. Want to get the biggest stories from PEOPLE every weekday? Subscribe to our new podcast, PEOPLE Every Day, to get the essential celebrity, entertainment and human interest news stories Monday through Friday. Joe Raedle/Getty On Saturday, President Joe Biden declared the severe winter storm in Texas a major disaster, making federal funding available to communities across the state, NBC News reported. "I thank President Biden for his assistance as we respond to impacts of winter weather across our state," Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said in a statement. "While this partial approval is an important first step, Texas will continue to work with our federal partners to ensure all eligible Texans have access to the relief they need." While the power problems in Texas largely rest with the gas production in the state, some Texas conservatives, including Abbott, blamed liberal policies like the renewable energy championed in Ocasio-Cortez's "Green New Deal" proposal. People carry groceries home in Austin, Texas. Montinique Monroe/Getty Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Helps Raise $2 Million in Relief for Texas In a press conference this week, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) — which operates the state's power grid — said that the bulk of the problem could be attributed to natural gas and coal, not wind turbines or solar energy, the Associated Press reported. Ocasio-Cortez lambasted Abbott for his remarks, saying the power disruptions in Texas were due to the governor's "own failures." "I go offline a few days and return to a GOP Gov blaming policies he hasn't even implemented for his own failures," Ocasio-Cortez wrote on Twitter. "Gov. Abbott doesn't seem to have a grasp on his state, so here's a reminder: Texas runs 80-90% on fossil fuels. The real 'deadly deal' is his failed leadership." If you are looking to help while still taking proper social distancing precautions, or want to contribute remotely, check out this link for ways to support Texas and its residents.