City Council this week approved a $2.2 million relief program to assist local restaurants and provide meals to Houstonians impacted by COVID-19. Mayor Sylvester Turner’s Health Equity Response (H.E.R.) Task Force will partner on the relief program with Lemond Kitchen, a local catering company. Lemond Kitchen will lead 15 local restaurants and catering companies in the production and delivery of up to 20,000 meals per week, through the end of the year.
“COVID-19 continues to impact Houstonians’ ability to meet basic needs and provide for their families,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner. “This program will not only support local restaurants and their employees during the end of a very challenging year, but also will provide much-needed meals to Houstonians experiencing financial distress.”
To qualify to be part of the program, both restaurants and meal recipients need to be located in one of 31 ZIP codes including the City’s Complete Communities and other neighborhoods that were identified by the H.E.R. Task Force this Spring based on CDC social vulnerability data. These ZIP codes include:
77003, 77004, 77009, 77011, 77012, 77016, 77020, 77021, 77022, 77026, 77028, 77029, 77033, 77036, 77040, 77045, 77051, 77053, 77060, 77071, 77072, 77074, 77076, 77078, 77081, 77087, 77088, 77091, 77093, 77099, and 77489.
“The Lemond family business started in 1959 in Clinton Park, where I grew up, and my wife and business partner, Merinda Watkins-Martin, was born and raised in Acres Home,” said Reggie Martin, Executive Chef at Lemond Kitchen. “It is a true honor for Lemond Kitchen to work with fellow restaurant operators to serve our neighborhoods’ residents and other impacted Houstonians. We have always been involved in community outreach after disasters, including Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Harvey. Taking on this new challenge in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, on behalf of the City and the Mayor’s H.E.R Task Force, is a mission we believe our parents prepared us to do.”
Lemond Kitchen will work with local agencies and organizations to identify vulnerable Houstonians to receive meals who meet the following qualifications: live in the identified ZIP codes and are senior citizens, high-risk and/or homebound adults, people with disabilities, families with children under the age of 18, low income, or unemployed.
“We identified equitable access to quality food as key challenge in Houston prior to COVID-19, and the pandemic has only exacerbated this issue,” said Marissa Aho, Chief Resilience Officer and a leader of the Mayor’s H.E.R. Task Force. “The City and its partners are continuing to find creative solutions to address these challenges, and this program is a great example. We will achieve dual goals of supporting restaurants located in communities disproportionally impacted by COVID-19 and providing high-quality meals to vulnerable Houstonians located in these same neighborhoods.”
Participating restaurants include Brooks Family Foods, Burns Original BBQ, Cool Running’s Jamaican Grill, Dona Maria, Ester’s Cajun Café & Soul Food, Himalaya Restaurant and Catering, Langstead Catering, Lucille’s 1913, Ray’s Real Pit BBQ Shack, Seafood Heaven, Silvana’s Catering, and Vela Seafood.
The relief fund is part of the $400 million in CARES Act funding provided to the City of Houston.
For more information visit http://www.lemondkitchen.com/hers-program.