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feeding the needy

Good-hearted new pop-up kitchen feeds Houston seniors and unemployed

Good-hearted new pop-up kitchen feeds Houston seniors and unemployed

Roadster Grill chicken skewers
Chicken skewer plate from the Roadster Grill. Courtesy photo
Letitia Plummer
Houston City Council member Letitia Plummer. Courtesy photo
Craft Pita falafel rice bowl
Falafel rice bowl from Craft Pita. Courtesy photo
Roadster Grill chicken skewers
Letitia Plummer
Craft Pita falafel rice bowl

A Houston City Council member has teamed up with a group of Houston chefs to feed people who have become unemployed during the coronavirus pandemic. Pop-Up Kitchen will operate out of Midtown restaurant Seaside Lounge (702 W. Dallas St.) beginning Wednesday, April 8.

Organized by Council Member At-Large Letitia Plummer, Pop-Up Kitchen aims to feed seniors, especially those who "rely on multipurpose centers or faith-based organizations or non-profits to provide their daily meals," according to a release. Seeded with money from Mario Azodinia, CEO of the private equity firm Capstone Houston Group, LLC, the program aims to feed at least 100 Houstonians a day April 8-12 and April 14-19.

Seaside Lounge chef Wendall Price is leading the culinary side. Other participants include Ana Beaven (Cuchara), Andres Albarran (New York Deli & Coffee Shop and Houston Catering Concepts), Nick Semoudiaris (Roadster Grill at Eighteen36), and Rafi Nasr (Craft Pita). Dishes slated to be served include potato tacos (Beaven), lasagna (Albarran), and grilled chicken skewers (Semoudiaris). Chefs who are interested in joining the effort may sign up online.

Available between 10 am and 2 pm (or sold out), meals will be distributed to people who can demonstrate recent unemployment or have proof they are age 65 or older. Measures will be in place to promote social distancing and proper hygiene. 

Plummer and the chefs intend to keep the project going for as long as they have funds to support it. Houstonians may make tax-free contributions via a GoFundMe organized by local non-profit Disaster & Humanitarian Services, Inc. Contributions may be as small as $4, the cost of one meal.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our neighbors in Houston in more ways than one, with job loss being a major hit to so many lives,” Plummer said in a statement. “I am so appreciative and humbled by the incredible local chefs, our organizing team including Mario, chef Wendell and Laurie Robinson [founder of Disaster & Humanitarian Services], and the generosity of our neighbors who are donating to our GoFundMe to help us keep our neighbors in need fed for the next few weeks.”