On November 1, the Marriott Marquis ballroom played host to over 1,350 people for the largest-ever Harvest Luncheon benefiting Kids' Meals. The 11th annual event raised $374,000, which will go toward providing free lunches to the doorsteps of Houston's preschool-aged children living in poverty. Fundraising began before guests even sat at their tables, with a curated Harvest Market consisting of 21 vendors, all of whom donated 20 percent of their sales to the organization.
The luncheon honored those committed to ending childhood hunger in our city. The Corporate Honorees were Palais Royale; the Burrell Legacy Award went to April and Wells McGee; the Golda & Gil Baker Award was presented to JR and Vivien Irvin; the Collaborative Partner of the Year was the Houston Food Bank; and the Volunteer Group of the Year was David Weekely Homes and Sherwin Williams. Connie Kwan-Wong, founder and publisher of CKW Luxe magazine, was also recognized for her donation of a brand-new delivery van that will be used daily to drop off healthy meals to kids.
The program included a keynote from Liz Murray, the New York Times best-selling author of memoir Breaking Night. She shared her story of forgiveness, survival, and how she made the heart-wrenching and inspirational journey from homelessness to Harvard. "Don't let what you can't do stop you from what you can do," Murray encouraged the audience.
For the first time in 2019, Kids Meal will make and deliver more than one million free lunches in a single year. The money raised at this year's luncheon promises thousands more, and will go toward helping fight the cycle of poverty in Houston.