Deshaun Watson donates meals to Houston hospitality workers who lost their jobs

Patrick D. Starr

HOUSTON (March 27, 2020) -- Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson completed a donation Thursday to feed hundreds of hospitality workers in Houston who lost their jobs amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Through his Deshaun Watson Foundation, Watson made a donation to the Restaurant Workers Relief Program, a relief center at Riel Restaurant formed in partnership with The LEE Initiative and Maker's Mark. Riel is producing 250-300 free meals a day through the program for restaurant employees who have lost their jobs or experienced a significant reduction in pay.

Watson's donation will provide hundreds of meals for displaced workers over the next 1-2 weeks. As of January 2020, the Houston restaurant industry employed approximately 265,300 employees across 12,000 restaurants, according to the Greater Houston Partnership.

Riel announced the relief program on Thursday. To donate, visit All money raised from Houston will go directly to feeding Houston hospitality workers in need. The LEE Initiative also has active programs in cities including New York (Brooklyn), Los Angeles, Washington DC, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Denver, New Orleans, and Seattle.

"Every dollar counts, and we're extremely grateful for Deshaun's donation," Riel chef/owner Ryan Lachaine said. "We could all use something to smile about right now. He's putting food on the table for a lot of people in Houston who need it."