HOUSTON –Houston Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins will serve as an ambassador and spokesman for the Houston Food Bank and Souper Bowl of Caring in 2014, the Houston Texans announced today. Hopkins hopes to raise awareness about hunger and help bring about hunger relief throughout the Houston community through volunteer activities, appearances and nutrition education.
Hopkins knows the impact hunger can have on a family, as he grew up in a single-parent home with four siblings who often struggled to have enough food to eat. His family relied on a food pantry for meals and nourishment for most of his childhood.
"I want to be able to give hope to people who are struggling to provide food for their family because I know if you keep working hard that your fate can change," Hopkins said. "I hope to be able to raise awareness for both the Houston Food Bank and Souper Bowl of Caring so we can make a difference to those who need hunger relief."
NRG Stadium could be filled 16 times over with the amount of people who are in need of hunger relief in Houston alone. The Houston Food Bank (HFB) is America's largest food bank, distributing more food to its network of partner agencies than any other food bank in America. HFB serves 600 hunger relief charities in 18 southeast Texas counties. The Houston Food Bank provides 59 million nutritious meals to food pantries, soup kitchens, senior centers and other agencies, feeding 800,000 people each year. Additional community services include nutrition education, school-based programs, food stamp applications and hands-on job training.
The Houston Food Bank enjoys a productive partnership with the Houston Texans that was solidified when HFB moved to its newly renovated facility in 2011. In recognition of the partnership, the Food Bank gratefully named its volunteer gathering and break area the Houston Texans Cafe, where volunteers and guests can access nutritious refreshments. Houston Texans President Jamey Rootes serves on the Houston Food Bank board of directors. In addition, the Texans generate considerable funding for HFB through the annual Taste of the Texans, a culinary extravaganza featuring food and wine from Houston's finest restaurants and caterers.
"The Houston Food Bank is grateful for the tremendous support we receive from the Houston Texans throughout the year. We're delighted that DeAndre Hopkins is joining our hunger relief team," said Food Bank president Brian Greene. "It's impressive that the Texans channel the power of their position in the community in so many productive ways to feed hungry people."
Souper Bowl of Caring is a national youth-led movement of schools, congregations, community organizations and compassionate individuals joining together to fight hunger and poverty in their local communities, transforming the time around the Super Bowl into the nation's largest celebration of giving and serving. Since the program started in 1990, volunteers have collected more than $100 million in cash and food items, with 100 percent of all donations going directly to community food banks, soup kitchens or other charities chosen by each group.
Under the advocacy and support from Houston Texans Founder, Chairman and CEO Mr. Robert McNair, Souper Bowl of Caring has grown in Houston and the state of Texas since 2004. The Texans have been quick to provide the organization with the resources it needs to be successful in tackling hunger and have been generous in lending support at events to generate community excitement and involvement.
"Our partnership with the Houston Texans is very important and has been a huge factor in our success in Houston," said Clara B. Cooper, President and CEO of Souper Bowl of Caring. "The Texans lead by example and help to rally others to become motivated in doing something to help those less fortunate. Souper Bowl of Caring is very excited to have DeAndre Hopkins as our player spokesperson. We believe he serves as the right advocate for the hunger and poverty relief cause."
For more information on Souper Bowl of Caring, visit SouperBowl.org. For information on the Houston Food Bank, visit HoustonFoodBank.org.