With the help of the Houston Texans and non-profit organization Souper Bowl of Caring, community leaders are once again joining forces to transform the time of the Super Bowl into the nation's largest celebration of giving and serving during Souper Bowl of Caring Houston.
Kicking off today at the Houston Food Bank, and continuing through Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 2, Houstonians are encouraged to participate in this community-wide giving and serving project. Organizers have set a goal of raising food and money to provide 2.8 million meals to meet the rising need of food assistance in the community.
Agencies served by the Houston Food Bank continue to report an increase in the number of people seeking emergency food assistance. Half of families served are working poor, trying to make ends meet, but unable to earn enough to keep food on the table.
"Of the 137,000 different people who receive food assistance each week from the Houston Food Bank, unfortunately, 47% are children," said Brian Greene, President and CEO of the Houston Food Bank. "Souper Bowl of Caring is our biggest community food drive, and one of the most touching, because it is powered in large part by young people working together to tackle hunger."
Souper Bowl of Caring began as a simple youth group project in South Carolina in 1990 and has grown into a national movement uniting people of all ages and backgrounds to use the time around the Super Bowl to fight hunger and poverty. In 2013, the Houston program generated enough food and money to provide more than 2.47 million meals--more than any other city in the U.S. 100% of all donations were donated to local food assistance organizations in Houston.
"For almost 25 years, young people across the country have been inspiring others by utilizing the energy of the Super Bowl to help those who are in need through Souper Bowl of Caring," said Clara Cooper, President and CEO of Souper Bowl of Caring. "When businesses and community leaders in Houston unite for a common cause, thousands of hungry individuals are helped. Combining efforts can increase the opportunity for others to participate, raise awareness and grow this incredible movement of giving."
Competitive food retailers H-E-B, Kroger and Randalls have teamed up to encourage customers to purchase and donate pre-packed bags filled with non-perishable food items or make a cash donation at participating stores in the greater Houston area. Donations at the stores will benefit the Houston Food Bank, which serves nearly 500 hunger relief agencies in 18 southeast Texas counties.
Boy Scouts from the Sam Houston Area Council have organized a door-to-door collection effort where about 15,000 Scouts and their leaders will visit area homes on Super Bowl weekend to educate the community about hunger and accept food donations for local charities. The Scouts will deliver a flier to Houston area houses on Saturday, January 25, 2014. If you receive a flier, you can leave nonperishables on your doorstep the morning of Saturday, February 1, 2014 for the Boy Scouts to pick up.
More than 250 area schools and congregations will organize events and conduct drives at their locations leading up to Super Bowl Sunday. Organizers are also looking for 2,000 volunteers to assist the program on Super Bowl weekend. The Houston Food Bank and the City of Houston Mayor's Youth Council are heading up this recruitment effort. For a complete list of participating community organizations and volunteer opportunities, visit tacklehunger.org/Houston.
Every dollar and food item donated during Souper Bowl of Caring goes straight to hunger-relief organizations in our area. Live results of this city-wide initiative can be viewed in real-time at tacklehunger.org/houston.
Souper Bowl of Caring Houston is supported by the Houston Texans along with the Robert and Janice McNair Foundation and is partnering with competing food retailers H-E-B, Kroger and Randalls Food Markets; leading TV stations KPRC Local 2, Channel 11 KHOU-TV/DT, ABC 13, KRIV Fox 26 and KTXH My 20, Channel 39, KXLN Univision 45, KFTH Unimas 67, NBC Universal-Telemundo Houston TV 47, and; local radio stations 89.3 KSBJ FM, NGEN Radio, Sunny 99.1; NewsRadio 740 KTRH and SportsRadio 610 AM; the Houston Chronicle; the Sam Houston Area Council Boy Scouts; Papa John's Pizza; the City of Houston Volunteer Initiatives Program, the Mayor's Citizen's Assistance Office and the Mayor's Youth Council; Volunteer Houston; and more than 250 area schools and congregations.
Souper Bowl of Caring staff poses with Houston Texans president, Jamey Rootes, offensive tackle, Duane Brown and cheerleaders.
Houstonians Unite to Use Football Game to Raise Funds and Awareness for Hunger Relief
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