Locktopia supporting Kids’ Meals Houston
Their mission is to end childhood hunger by delivering free healthy meals to the doorsteps of Houston’s hungriest preschool-aged children and through collaboration provide their families with resources to help end the cycle of poverty.
With the uncertainty that 2020 has brought us, and so many people losing their jobs, we want to give back to those in need.
Since many day cares have closed, parents laid off or working part time, we thought children might be hurt the worst.
We have volunteered at Kids’ Meals in the past, and feel it’s a great Bayou City organization to support.
As of May 2020, Kids’ Meals says it is delivering 7,000 meals every weekday.
Since 2006, the nonprofit has given more than 6.7 million free meals to food insecure children in 43 Houston-area zip codes.
Two dollars feeds one child, so one family of four could feed 24 little ones with this donation.
It makes us happy to give back to our Houston community.
More information can be found here.
UPDATE NOVEMBER 17, 2020
Kid’s Meals’ 12th Annual Harvest Luncheon Feeds Our Future
‘Tis the season of giving and Kids’ Meals along with Luncheon Chair Melissa DeAyala gathered more than 500 guests for a one-of-a-kind virtual luncheon on Friday, November 13, 2020. The 12th Annual Harvest Luncheon kicked off with a compelling “What is Kids’ Meals?” animation that demonstrated Kids’ Meals’ dedication to working towards a future where no child goes hungry in Houston. As the only program of its kind in the nation, Kids’ Meals has made and delivered 7.2 million meals since 2016. Supporters helped raised $200,000 that will help Kid’s Meals reach its goal of making and delivering 3.5 million meals in 5 years.
Kids’ Meals presented DUFLGT (Donor Update – Future Look –Grand Tour) with luncheon emcee and Kids’ Meals “spokekid” Jojo Regina. With her vivacious personality and DUFLGT expertise, Regina took guests along to show how Kids’ Meals can make and deliver meals to the doorsteps of Houston’s hungriest preschoolers. The eventful journey started in the kitchen with one sandwich at a time. With making and delivering meals as the organization’s bread and butter, Kids’ Meals newly expanded 18,000 sq. ft. warehouse space makes a huge impact in the process. From the kitchen to one of its three warehouses Kids’ Meals delivers close to 6,000 meals every weekday. Brown lunch bags are not the only items that leave the warehouses. At a second warehouse, groceries are packed for weekly grocery deliveries to the Kids’ Meals program families. Kids’ Meals is on track to deliver 400,300 grocery bags a month next year and uses its third warehouse to store groceries.
Watching the process of making and delivering meals can work up an appetite. Table Hosts and lead underwriters were treated to chef-prepared meals by Click Virtual Food Hall and included garden salad with honey cider vinaigrette, chicken breast and salmon served with Bucatini pesto and heirloom grape tomatoes. The meal was not complete without banana bread pudding.
The virtual luncheon continued with a “Processes & Wraparound Services” animation that took guests on a rambunctious ride. Kid’s Meals food partners help supply healthy food options while volunteers make and pack the meals. From one van to a fleet of delivery vans, Kids’ Meals delivers five weekly meals to children across 43 Houston area zip codes. Kids’ Meals goes beyond delivering meals and weekly grocery bags, it also offers resources, delivers books, Thanksgiving meals and gifts during the holidays. Kids’ Meals families are connected with more than 43 wraparound services that give them access to programs such as GED classes, financial planning, health care and resources to help end the cycle of poverty.
Guests buckled up and took a view from the van to meet Kids’ Meals staff and delivery drivers Olivia Cunningham and Tom Newton. Behind the wheel, delivery drivers keep the program moving. Along the way, participants experience and see smiling faces as the delivery van arrives. During a “Childhood Brain Development” animation participants were intrigued when introduced to a scenario about having the perfect plan to build a one-of-a-kind home. The building begins and a list of unfortunate events such as missing material and holes in the roof interrupts the built. By comparing the process of building a home to the child’s brain development, guests learn that when a child does not eat, the building blocks to grow, learn and explore are not activated. Kid’s Meals can step in to help little builders with the raw material to create the perfect blueprint they need.
Feeding children under six who don’t have access to school-based meal program is crucial to childhood brain development and during a view from home, guests were invited into the home of a Kids’ Meals program family to witness the impact Kids’ Meals has on a Houston-area grandma who is raising five grandchildren. Guests also heard a testimony from a single mother who was able to have a life-changing experience due to the help and love she received from Kids’ Meals.
The informative and lively animations continued with a focus on the “Cycle of Poverty” and why Kid’s Meals’ focus is to feed children under the age of six. Without proper nutrition, children are at higher risk to experience developmental delays, illnesses and learning disabilities. Ultimately, children without nutritional meals are more likely to drop out of school and without education the chances of becoming a successful individual diminishes. Kids’ Meals is making it its mission to break the cycle of poverty.
Kids’ Meals recognized devoted faithful volunteers John Day, Randee Rothmann, Betsy Torn, Kari Krause, and Kent Keith for stepping up and devoting their time to help the Kids’ Meals program grow 135 percent overnight. During the darkest hours of the pandemic, Kids’ Meals’ volunteers made it possible to feed more than 7,500 children a day.
The Luncheon’s Century Club Honorees included The Cockrell Foundation; Reliant, an NRG Company; The Halliburton Charitable Foundation; The Leslie L. Alexander Foundation; and The Astros Foundation. Honorees shared their commitment to support Kids’ Meals and its mission while being recognized for their contribution to feeding the children who face debilitating hunger due to extreme poverty.
From home and before the entertaining luncheon, guests got in the spirit of giving by placing bids on 45 silent auction items curated by auction chair Vanessa Goebel that included a five-night stay at a Crested Butte, Colorado home, a date night package, a family fun package, and sports memorabilia. Supporting Kids’ Meals and winning the raffle for an original “Texas Flag” acrylic on canvas by Houston contemporary artist Taft McWhorter was Marge Hill. Matthew Kades was in style with the winning ticket for the CKW Luxe gold knitted mink fur poncho with fox fur trimming and Karen Lee was the winner of a modern diamond necklace with eight graduated diamonds on a 14 karat yellow gold chain.
All who supported and joined in feeding Houston’s hungry children included: Kate Fowler, April McGee, Wendy & Vince Sicola, Elizabeth Elder, Eloise Taussig, Susan Whitney, Commissioner R. Jack Cagle, Yolanda Guillory, Marty Braniff, Twila Carter (Astros Foundation), Julie Bayouth, Kathy O’Neil, Michael Walter (Valero), Myra Johnson, Lara Bell, Marianna Corcoran, Cassie Croft, Missy Balleza, Laura Robert, Karen Masraff, Karen Lee, Cathleen Hancock, Kevin Wollin, Judy Herrera, Carolyn Light, James Braniff III, Gilbert Baker, Randee Rothmann, Adam Cope and Jon Glenn (Telegram Sir) Executive Director Beth Braniff Harp, and Cynthia Stielow.
Additional sponsors included: Kroger, Jack H. and William M. Light Charitable Trust, Central Bank, USI, HEB, Goldman Sachs, Frost Bank, Bullritos, Arnold Ventures, Texas Laparoscopic Consultants, and media sponsors: CKW Luxe Magazine, Key Magazine, Hot in Houston Now, Houston Modern Luxury, Houstonia, Que Onda! Magazine, River Oaks Living Magazine, and Swoon Memorial.