BWW Feature: Second Servings' 'Dinner's On Us' Invites Houston Theatre Community to the Table
What: Free, chef-prepared, family-sized meals. Provided by the Second Servings "Dinner's On Us" program.
Where: LAM parking lot @ 702 Avenida De Las Americas, Houston TX 77003.
When: Tuesday and Thursday from 10:00am-12:00pm.
How: Just drive on up! Via contact-free, drive-thru delivery, the Second Servings volunteers will pop your trunk, place the meal inside, and send you off with a smile.
When was the last time your weekly trip to Trader Joe's consisted of 1,500 lbs of food? I know, I know. Trader Joe's is the bomb. But 1,500 lbs?! That, however, is just a regular ol' day for the folks at Second Servings Houston, who recover food excess and connect it to those in need. With the various challenges facing the arts industry right now, Second Servings has extended an invitation for their "Dinner's On Us" program to the theatre community. So go ahead and pull up a chair, you need to hear about this.
Years ago, Second Servings' Founder Barbara Bronstein noticed that at formal banquets and events, there was always a great deal of untouched leftover food that was wasted. Since the local food bank did not accept prepared food, Bronstein created a solution. The result? Houston's only prepared and perishable food rescue organization, ignited with a desire to "connect abundance with need". Their website proudly notes that since operations began in 2015, Second Servings has rescued over 3 million pounds of food--equivalent to $20 million--by connecting food donors with excess to charities in need.
When in the midst of worldwide crisis, the team at Second Servings went to work constructing a relief plan. By April 9th, Second Servings stepped up with the "Dinner's On Us" program. Partnered with the Hess Corporation, this program has provided over 10,000 meals every week to Houstonians in need. Did I mention these meals not only feed 6-8 people, but are also chef-prepared? Their only request is that upon pickup, you arrive in a vehicle and with a mask. It's that simple, and yes, that generous.
This program was initially created with Houston's hospitality workers in mind, as those entities are often the ones providing excess food to Second Servings. Volunteer Jennifer Greenberg has been with this organization since the beginning, and has a palpable passion for their work. Regarding "Dinner's On Us" Greenberg explains, "They didn't just pivot, they added a whole new program since this pandemic. It started out to help feed the hospitality industry as a way to give back to the community that provides Second Servings' with food to distribute to the food insecure. One day we still had some meals left and I thought, 'We should be feeding the arts organizations!".
Noting that their pickup location lies nextdoor to the theatre district, Second Servings has invited all members of the theatre community to the table. Bronstein sums up the core of their mission in a quotation from their website saying, "We don't have a food shortage problem; we have a food distribution problem." Second Servings is a solution.
Second Servings Houston's "Dinner's On Us" Program is running every Tuesday and Thursday from 10:00am-12:00pm with contact-free, drive-thru delivery, while supplies last and need remains. Visit secondservingshouston.org for more information about the Dinner's On Us program, as well as ways to donate, volunteer, and other services available.