RICHMOND – La Cocina Mexican Restaurant in Richmond is giving patrons an even bigger reason to indulge on Cinco de Mayo; supporting senior citizens.
On Friday, owner Andres Novoa spent the day preparing for one of his biggest celebrations of the year, Cinco de Mayo party. However, here it’s not just about the party, but a promise made 13 years ago to Meals on Wheels in Fort Bend County.
“We found out that there was a big need for our seniors,” Novoa explained. “They had a waiting list to be fed. And we said, ‘let’s help them.’”
Every year since, La Cocina has used the fun of Cinco de Mayo to raise funds for Meals on Wheels.
“Last year we raised $60,000," Novoa said. "So we are hoping to raise more money tomorrow.”
The money is raised by community members who buy tickets or tables for the event. The celebration features food, drinks, live music and an auction.
Overall the fundraiser has raised about $410,000 to date, which adds up to more than 50,000 meals for hungry seniors.
According to The State of Senior Hunger in America, Texas has the sixth highest rate of senior hunger in the nation, which means Meals on Wheels is always seeking help.
"They have to constantly be searching for charitable contributions,” explained Linda Nolty, a volunteer with Meals on Wheels. “Andres, every year for 13 years, has been the champion to push forward to get those funds they need.”
Novoa credits the community for its continued support, which includes Pecan Grove Elementary, where students have a competition between grades to see who can contribute the most. Last year, the kids raised $960.
“We love our seniors here,” said Novoa. “They did a lot for our county so it’s time to give back and to help them. So, under our watch we are covering our seniors.”
Saturday’s Cinco de Mayo event at La Cocina is sold out, however, donations to Meals on Wheels are always accepted here.