Every week, an estimated 137,000 people in Houston do not have enough to eat, and 47 percent of them are children.
"If you're a child, how do you study when you're hungry? So if everybody in Houston could do just a little bit we can make a huge dent in this problem," said Scott McClelland, President of HEB Houston.
"Many of those who go hungry in our community are the working poor, but they can't make ends meet," said Houston Mayor Annise Parker.
Throughout the three week Souper Bowl of Caring, we will fight to change that reality, one meal at a time. Eyewitness News is proud to once again partner with sponsors including our own Houston Texans to collect food for the Houston Food Bank.
This year's goal is to collect 3.5 million meals. That may sound like a lot, but the food bank distributes 50 million meals a year and the demand is growing.
"We actually have a high, the persistently high, poverty rate above the national average and food insecurity above the national average," said Brian Greene with the Houston Food Bank.
H-E-B, Kroger, and Randall's have made it easy to help, whether you add an item to a collection bin, add a dollar to your bill or buy a pre-packaged bag of food.
"There's all sorts of ways to get involved, and if you can't donate your money you certainly can donate your time to help this great cause," said Bill Breetz, Kroger President - Southwest Division.
"It ties right in with the Super Bowl, and it's a great time of year, especially in the winter time when people might need a little more food," said Paul McTavish, Randall's President.
One hundred percent of what's raised goes directly to our neighbors in need, so in this Souper Bowl everyone wins.
"I'm pretty happy that all these kids will get so much food to eat," said Boy Scout, Ryan Telford.
Besides the Boy Scouts, Houston Texans mascot Toro, the Texans cheerleaders and lots of volunteers are sorting food that will go to the Houston Food Bank.
"We have been involved since 2004 with Souper Bowl of Caring," said Jamey Rootes with the Houston Texans. "We helped to kick it off when the Super Bowl was here and our fans have supported so well. We have had a decade plus of sellouts, over 70,000 and you twice that in our community every week going hungry This is a great way for us to make a difference."
The food drive runs today through Super Bowl Sunday. There are more than 250 schools and churches that are also collecting items.
ABC13 is a partner in the Souper Bowl of Caring. For more information on participating stores, group participation and/or volunteer opportunities, visit the website at SouperBowl.org.
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