AARP Texas State Director Tina Tran announced a $25,000 donation to Lucille's 1913 Foundation in Houston. Since the pandemic began, Lucille's 1913 Foundation has provided hundreds of thousands of meals to Houstonians in need. Many of those receiving meals are seniors.
"Lucille's 1913 Foundation, with its founder, Chef Christopher Williams, have worked diligently to feed the community during this pandemic and again when Winter Storm Uri hit Houston," Tran said. "This organization has fed thousands of older Houstonians who are often forgotten, many who may not have eaten had it not been for Lucille's 1913 Foundation."
Chef Christopher Williams, also known as Chef Chris, owns Lucille's restaurant in Houston's Museum District. He began Lucille's 1913 Foundation during the pandemic because he saw Houstonians in need.
"We started Lucille's 1913 just trying to provide nourishment for the people that paved the way for us — our elders in these low-income communities. Since then, we've distributed more than 200,000 meals to other residents in need while also continuing our daily drops to those same senior living facilities," said Chef Chris. "This gift from AARP is really a full-circle moment that will not only help us expand our distribution to the core demographic that started it all, but it also helps us advance our expanded mission to create a vertically-integrated ecosystem that ultimately combats food insecurity and waste and ultimately empowers these communities to discover a self-sustainable livelihood through food."
Chef Chris and Lucille's are self-funding the foundation. Tran said she hoped that the AARP donation would help feed Houstonians, including our older residents who do not always ask for help.
"Senior hunger is a serious public health issue. Research shows that food insecurity contributes to the development of conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and depression in older Americans," said Tran. "AARP is committed to helping alleviate senior hunger in this country."
AARP is taking those advocacy efforts to the Texas Legislature. Fighting to fill the food pantries for the 50+ community is part of the work. In Austin, AARP Texas is advocating for the passage of Senate Bill 224 and House Bill 1019 to expand food access and combat hunger among seniors and vulnerable Texans.
AARP Regional Vice President Rawle Andrews, Jr. and AARP volunteer Charlene Hunter James presented Chef Chris with a virtual check during a live interview on KHOU-TV's Great Day Houston.
Lucille's 1913 delivers nearly 700 meals daily to underserved communities in Houston. Those communities include Sunnyside, Acres Homes, Fifth Ward, and Third Ward. They now have opened a second kitchen in Houston's Fifth Ward with plans to open up more locations.
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