Rice Management Company, which owns the shopping district known as The Village, first donated $50,000 towards a minimum of 5,000 meals April 16, with the intent to match community donations for at least another 5,000 meals, adding up up to 15,000 meals total.
Health care workers from Houston Methodist, St. Luke’s, Memorial Hermann and MD Anderson Cancer Center were the recipients, said AJ Coffee, senior general manager of Rice Management Company.
“It’s wonderful the fact that this was for the front-line health care workers,” Coffee said.
Two hundred individual donors put money toward the campaign, which went into ingredients and meal production for Rice Village’s restaurants, including Politan Row, Mendocino Farms, Sixty Vines and Sweetgreen.
Hope City church supplied volunteers, as did Rice Management. Employees from the restaurants not only prepared meals but also delivered to the medical center.
Because of this, restaurants from the district were able to hire back some employees, Coffee said.
“It was a double blessing,” Coffee said. “On one side, [we were] helping provide meals, and on another, [we were] helping restaurants who saw a significant decline in sales because of going to curbside.”
Longtime Rice Village restaurants D'Amico's Italian Market Cafe and Prego also stepped up to make meals for the program.
“To be able to give back just meant so much to them,” Coffee said.
It is unclear if the shopping district will hold another meal donation campaign, though Coffee noted that the campaign model is set for any future efforts.