Fort Bend County Grants $5M Extension to the TBE We All Eat Program to Fight Food Insecurity & Keep Local Restaurants Open
The various effects of the COVID-19 pandemic were far reaching, affecting our local communities in ways none of us has ever witnessed before. Unfortunately, restaurants have taken the brunt of the detrimental impacts of COVID in the business world, being hit harder than any other industry during the pandemic. In fact, more than 110,000 bars and restaurants have closed since the start of the pandemic, eliminating nearly 2.5 million jobs from the workforce, and Houston-area counties were not exempt from these losses. Compounding this problem was the issue of food insecurity, a problem that many Houstonians faced for the first time ever as a result of unprecedented job losses.
Building businesses and strengthening communities have always been a part of TBE's mission. Desiring to address the devastating issues of restaurant closings and food insecurity in the local community, TBE sought out ways to make a difference. In October 2020, TBE partnered with Fort Bend County to launch the We All Eat Texas program. Through this program, Fort Bend County provided free meals daily to families experiencing pandemic-related food insecurity by allowing them to acquire their meals through selected local restaurants, with Texas Black Expo reimbursing the restaurants for the meals.
Since the start of the program, Texas Black Expo has not only served nearly 500,000 free meals to those in need through the We All Eat program, but it has also helped to keep 20 local Fort Bend County restaurants in business and their employees working. Originally, the program was anticipated to terminate at the end of March 2021. However, Fort Bend County recently announced the extension of the program, awarding an additional $5 million for TBE to continue feeding food insecure residents while keeping restaurant doors open. With this additional funding, the We All Eat program is working towards doubling the number of free meals given to families, sustaining them through this difficult time.
The Texas Black Expo wishes to thank Fort Bend County for its generosity and commitment to its residents, businesses, and community. For more information about the We All Eat program, please visit wealleattexas.com.
We All Eat program kicked off in October 2020 with a press conference hosted by Sugars Cajun Cuisine. Attendees included, Commissioner Grady Prestage, TBE President Jerome D. Love, TBE Chair Emeritus LaTayne Bruce, State Rep. Rony Reynolds and restaurant owner Darryl Austin.