HOUSTON - This Thanksgiving week some Houston families are finding more to be thankful for as we find out in this Positively Houston.
Of course, Turkey Day is a time when the meal is the heart of the holiday. So imagining a family going without, especially on Thanksgiving is tough to swallow.
"We are actually going to provide almost 2,000 full Thanksgiving meals to our families this year,” says Executive Director of Kids Meals, Beth Harp.
Dozens of volunteers have come together to make it happen, packing up and giving out Thanksgiving dinners to thousands of Houstonians through Kids Meals Houston.
“It's the nation's only home delivery service for preschool kids living in severe poverty and every weekday we are delivering a healthy meal directly to the doorsteps, to the homes, apartments, and trailers”.
The non-profit typically takes a meal to preschoolers and toddlers who are at home while their brothers and sisters are in school receiving lunch but now that's changed. "Since the pandemic, we have been feeding all the siblings of our little clients,” says Harp.
Also, now Kids Meals is delivering entire Thanksgiving meals. "It's important especially during the holidays. If you're living in impoverished conditions there's already so much stress. This is a way we can give just a joyful gift".
ReUse Textile Recycling Services, a for-profit company, is hosting a donated clothing drive for Kids Meals. ReUse says it keeps old clothes out of the landfill by picking up everything from donated linens to towels, clothing, and accessories, which is then…
”Sent to third world countries where it gets a second life and it's worn again and whatever cannot be used, whether it's shredded or bad textiles that have been damaged and things like that converted into home insulation material, it's converted into pillow filling,” explains Co-Founder of ReUse Textile Recycling Services Fazeel Lakhani.
A portion of what ReUse earns goes to non-profits such as Kids Meals and Habitat For Humanity.
"Even during COVID-19, the affordable housing crisis is still going on in Houston. There is a need for those to be able to have enough room for their families.
There is overcrowding in many families. It's hard to social distance when you do have overcrowding. So we're still building,” adds David Soto with Houston Habitat For Humanity.
"1 in 4 kids in our city live in food-insecure homes. What that means is they don't necessarily know where their next meal is coming from. These are hard-working families.
At least one person is usually working in the family trying to make ends meet and we're so thankful we can step in where that paycheck runs out,” says Harp.
As you and your family count your blessings this Thanksgiving holiday, perhaps choosing a charity and volunteering will give another family something to be thankful for as well.