Kids' Meals organization needs fresh food donations, volunteers after storm destroyed inventory

Kids Meals is a local organization who donates thousands of healthy meals to impoverished kids in the greater Houston area, every day.  Last week’s winter storm nearly destroyed their entire supply of fresh food when they lost power and water. 

"We haven’t been able to deliver for eight days, and it is just awful because these kids are suffering," said Beth Harp, the Executive Director of Kids Meals Inc. 

Harp said since last Sunday, the non-profit has been set back by the Arctic blast, which blew out power and water in their building for days.

As a result, all their fresh refrigerated and frozen items had to be thrown away, and their home deliveries were cancelled all week. 

"Kids Meals is able to help over 6,000 children a day. But we know in Houston, there are 88,000 children living in food insecure homes. What that means is, they don’t necessarily know where their next meal is coming from," Harp said.

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Since 2006, Kids Meals has provided more than 8 million free, healthy meals to impoverished kids 6 years old and under in the greater Houston area. 

Now, they need Houston to help them. 

Volunteers can even help from home by making "DIY meal packs" and dropping them off. 

"We’ve had a big challenge in buying food in bulk so if people could donate food, healthy snacks. We need squeezable fruits — apple sauces, juice boxes, shelf-stable milk," Harp said. 

Harp said Kids Meals could also use PPE donations such as gloves, masks or hairnets. 

"This is a typical lunch that we will have for our kiddos. Turkey and cheese — a wrap for our kids and then we have our healthy trail mix that we make here in house," Harp said.

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According to Harp, a surge of nearly 200 volunteers over the weekend will now provide enough inventory for up to three days. But with thousands more in need after that historic winter storm, Kids Meals is asking for additional help to keep up with the demand. 

"Volunteers are generally doing packing and we have warehouse work. We call it "Kids Meals Cross Fit". There’s a lot to be done in the warehouses. You can also drive a route in your car and if you wanna do that. We’ll have to take a background check first, then we’ll train you on how to go out and do it," Harp said. 

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