HOUSTON, TX (KTRK) -- Houston Restaurant Weeks is officially underway! But the popular annual fundraiser will be very different this year - you don't even have to have to leave your home to participate. For the first time, you will be able to order using pick-up or delivery from over 200 participating restaurants.
"There's actually been a built-up kind of comraderie between the restauranteurs," said Matthew Mitchell, owner of Traveler's Table in Montrose. "We've realized we're all in this together."
"It shows you that Houston is strong, we have a strong group here," said Katie Stone, chair of Houston Restaurant Weeks. "We have a very strong food culture."
Katie Stone is spearheading Houston Restaurant Weeks for the first time this year. She's continuing the legacy of her mother, Cleverley Stone, who founded Houston Restaurant Weeks 17 years ago. Cleverley Stone passed away after a battle with cancer in May. Her life's mission was to beat hunger in Houston, and it was very important to her that the annual event benefitted the Houston Food Bank.
"She really was so driven by stories she would hear in Houston about people not having enough to eat," said Katie Stone.
Over the years, Houston Restaurant Weeks has raised over $16.6 million for the Houston Food Bank. Usually, restaurants would donate $3 to $7 from each meal sold. But this year, with so many restaurants struggling with COVID-19 restrictions, they will donate $1 per meal.
"They need it just as much as we do, so being able to help two causes in one in super important," said Austin Waiter, executive chef at Tony's Restaurant.
"I'm sending our guests to other local restaurants," said Matthew Mitchell of Traveler's Table. "Just saying, hey - let's all do this together, and hopefully, before long, we'll be getting back to normal."
"This year's Houston Restaurant Weeks is probably the most important year that we've ever seen," said Katie Stone. "I believe that my mother understood that as well."
Houston Restaurant Weeks runs through September 7. To view the list of participating restaurants, click here.