Harris County Commissioner Lesley Briones and her newly launched nonprofit, Precinct4Forward partnered with local businesses to distribute Thanksgiving meals to underserved and food insecure families.
Residents identified by Alief ISD and Thomas Street , the first freestanding HIV clinic in the nation located in Harris County, received a turkey with all the trimmings of a traditional Thanksgiving feast, and were given the choice of vegetarian and halal dinners.
“Thanksgiving is a time when everyone should be able to enjoy their loved ones. No one should have to worry whether their holiday meal will break their finances,” Commissioner Briones said. “I’m deeply thankful for—and to—the residents of Precinct 4, and this event is just one of the ways we can show them our appreciation.”
Throughout the two weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, community centers across Precinct 4 hosted free potlucks, low-cost catered luncheons, and recipe sharing events. At one of the luncheons, Commissioner Briones and her youngest daughter helped serve seniors at Bayland Community Center.
“Whenever I am able to bring my daughters with me to serve the community, I will – especially when it’s something as special as spending time and sharing a Thanksgiving meal with residents,” she said.
With children out of school for Thanksgiving break, many parents were looking for an opportunity to keep their children entertained. Precinct 4 community centers ensured there were classes and activities for all ages.
For example, families gathered in a Thanksgiving-themed educational class to learn about the three species of Texas turkeys and why they are so important in the history of the holiday. In another class, families participated in arts and crafts activities where children could create a thankful pumpkin and pretend pies.
Families were encouraged to join movie nights, a Fall Fun Afternoon, and crafting sessions.
“It’s important that our community centers offer something for all ages, especially around a holiday like Thanksgiving,” Commissioner Briones said. “We want to give families the opportunity to learn together, have fun together, and spend time together in spaces that feel welcoming. My team and I are excited to continue making Precinct 4 community centers those places.”