The generosity of Houston was on full display this Giving Tuesday, as many drove out to join us for the 43rd annual ABC13 Share Your Holidays Food Drive.
Amid high inflation and the rising price of rent and utilities, Houston Food Bank said the need for meals is as urgent as it was during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Yet, our viewers showed up in a very big way. We saw a steady line of vehicles during our live broadcast, as ABC13 viewers answered the call to help feed our most vulnerable neighbors this holiday season.
As of Thursday afternoon, Houston Food Bank said 667,000 meals were created with your donations, and the counting continues.
If you missed the food drive, you can still donate: Just text SYH2023 to 71777. Every dollar you give creates three meals for those in need.
Eyewitness News reporters and anchors spread out across the region to capture the sights and sounds, from Baytown to Sugar Land.
In Galveston, the Ball High School cheerleaders and marching band greeted a long line of cars, even a rented Penske moving truck, all filled with donations.
Anchor Adam Winkler reported nearly 20,000 lbs. of food was collected on the island alone.
There was a joyful noise outside Fire Station No. 1 in Katy, where meteorologist Elita Loresca and the Odessa Kilpatrick Elementary School choir traded Christmas carols for canned goods.
Donning a red cap with Mickey Mouse ears, reporter Nick Natario spent the morning with students from six schools outside the VFW Hall in Downtown Rosenberg.
In all, 43,000 lbs. of donations were collected there on 1st Street. Crystal, from Thomas Elementary in Richmond, said giving makes sense during this season of light.
"We just need to help people in need, because they don't have what (we have)," she said.
At the Ismaili Jamatkhana and Center in Spring, people of faith worked hand-in-hand with first responders from Spring Fire Department to collect bag after bag of donations.
"Share Your Holidays is an important tradition for Spring Fire, because it's another way we can serve our community," public information officer Tracee Evans said. "Knowing the food stays right here, helping families in need, drives our mission."
Meteorologist Kevin Roth even accepted a donation from weekend anchor and This Week in Texas host Tom Abrahams.
"Your Florida State Seminoles beat my Florida Gators. You won the bet," Abrahams said, laughing as he lifted his bag up for Spring volunteers to collect.