Austin, TX (Dec. 17, 2021) – The Texas Restaurant Foundation (TRF) is proud to accept three grants totaling over $394,000 from the Texas Vaccine Outreach and Education Program, which was recently launched by the Texas Department of State Health Services and the Texas A&M University Health Science Center to increase the number of people in Texas who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit affiliate of the Texas Restaurant Association (TRA) with a diverse set of community leaders across the entire state, the TRF is well-positioned to share scientific information and resources with Texans who have not yet received a COVID-19 vaccine.
“Restaurants anchor communities, with their owners and operators serving as a trusted voice to audiences who are too often left out of public health discussions,” said Dr. Emily Williams Knight, Ed.D., President & CEO of the TRF and the TRA. “We’re excited to partner with the State of Texas through this grant program to reach these audiences with authentic, community-driven events and communications so that we can help more Texans get vaccinated and finally put this pandemic behind us.”
Using a hub and spoke model, the TRF will target its efforts in three counties—Lubbock, Midland, and Van Zandt. Within these counties, the TRF will host six community support and vaccine drives over the next nine months to provide community members with a wide range of services including childcare information, general health screenings, employment opportunities, educational culinary sessions taught by ProStart students, vaccine education, and vaccine providers. The TRF will also use grant funds to produce targeted, multi-lingual marketing materials and community conversation podcasts.
“This grant funding will help us bring communities together for important conversations like the best, science-based practices we can use to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” said Dave Hester, Director of the TRF. “Restaurants have always been a setting for important conversations, and we’re ready to partner with other community leaders to ensure the Texas Vaccine Outreach and Education Program is a great success.”
The TRA previously hosted four vaccine drives in different cities across Texas, helping to vaccinate thousands of hospitality employees in partnership with Fertitta Entertainment, Memorial Hermann Health System, University Health System, Central Texas Counties Vaccine Collaborative, Methodist Health System, and many others. With the Texas Vaccine Outreach and Education Program, the TRF can build on lessons learned from these events to help vaccinate not just our workforce, but other groups who have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.
For more information about the Texas Vaccine Outreach and Education Program, visit https://dshs.texas.gov/news/releases/2021/20211215.aspx.