By Russ Reneau
Approximately 60 HBU student-athletes took time to volunteer at the Houston Food Bank’s Portwall Warehouse on the east side of town. The event was organized by the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), and part of the “Southland Gives Back” initiative.
The Huskies cleaned off packaged food, personal and medical items, and then put them on Houston Food Bank’s huge conveyor belt system, where more HBU student-athletes were waiting to organize the items into boxes. Those boxes will be distributed to families in need.
“It was a great experience to see all of these athletes come together to help out at the Houston Food Bank,” SAAC Southland Conference representative and senior men’s golfer Val Almendarez said. “To have these athletes give up their free time to help those in need was really amazing to see. So many people need the food bank now more than ever because of all the devastation from Hurricane Harvey, and we were able to help create over 6,000 meals in the time we spent there.”
The Houston Food Bank is a non-profit organization that collects and distributes food to hunger relief charities, and is a member of the nation’s largest non-governmental, domestic hunger relief organization – Feeding America. Food usually comes from various sources in the food industry, like grocery stores and wholesalers, that have thousands of pounds of food to give away – food that could otherwise be thrown away. During the fiscal year 2016-17, Houston Food Bank distributed 83 million nutritious meals, and has a goal to reach 100 million nutritious meals by 2018.
“To be able to give back to our community, especially after the devastation the city has endured this past year, was really special,” SAAC president and men’s soccer goalie Chance Pope said. “This was a great way for us to come together in fellowship, and I look forward to continuing these experiences with my fellow athletes.”
Each Southland Conference member institution participates in a “Southland Gives Back” event around the holidays. In addition, every individual program at HBU serves for at least one more community service project during the academic year.
For more information on the Houston Food Bank, visit houstonfoodbank.org. Every dollar donated to the Houston Food Bank provides the equivalent of three meals for an individual.