Rice Village launched an initiative dubbed Fare for Care, a meal donation campaign to feed healthcare workers at the Texas Medical Center during the coronavirus pandemic.
Rice Management Company, owner of the 1938 shopping district The Village, provided $50,000 in seed money for the meal donation program - enough to fund the first 5,000 meals - and will match community donations for at least another 5,000 meals, potentially serving more than 15,000 meals to emergency room and critical care teams at three hospitals in the Texas Medical Center: CHI St. Luke’s Health, Houston Methodist Hospital, and Memorial Hermann.
“We wanted to make sure we took care of our neighbors,” said Rice Village Senior General Manager, Aj Coffee.
Rice Management company devised the program as a way to tackle two issues: Medical professionals working long and stressful hours on our front lines of defense against the pandemic and Rice Village restaurants suffering a drastic reduction in business, spurring difficult layoffs.
“Given the robust culinary offerings at Rice Village and our close proximity the Texas Medical Center, we created FARE for CARE as a way to give back to the heroic healthcare workers who are risking their own lives to save others while simultaneously supporting our restaurant partners as they face a challenging time,” said Rice Management Company Investment Manager Cecilia “Ceci” Arreola. “And it gives our neighbors a tangible way to show love and support for the brave women and men on the medical frontlines.”
The campaign prompted Politan Row, the district’s food hall, to reopen. It’s resident chef’s are among those who will prepare the meals for healthcare workers. Politan Row, which had only been open since November, had been closed for several weeks following deceleration of the “Stay Home, Work Safe” order. The unique venture had struggled with how to reorganize its operations amidst the restrictions.
“This gives them an opportunity to reopen, get back in the kitchen and do what they love to do,” Coffee said.
Additional Rice Village restaurants – including Mendocino Farms, Sixty Vines, and Sweetgreen – are also contributing to the program.