Every week, we share dispatches from Texas Country Reporter, the long-running TV show that invites you to hop in and travel along to explore the back roads of Texas. 

When Willa Johnson was growing up, her mother worked long hours as a nurse in the Dallas–Fort Worth area. During those shifts, Willa would spend time at a local community center. It was underfunded and often the food was not fresh.

“I said, if I grow up, I’m not going to feed kids like this,” she recalls.

Years later, Willa opened a dine-out catering business in Athens called the Soul Kitchen. The more time she spent with the community, the more she saw how children in the area depend on schools for fresh, hot meals. Compelled to action, she started the nonprofit Feeding Kids Right to help fill the gap when schools are closed. The organization’s website says it serves over six thousand children a day during the summer months, and its impact was even greater during the pandemic.

In this video from Texas Country Reporter, Willa explains how the early mornings and long hours are all part of a her mission to make a difference and transform a community.