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Donations collected during the HEB Souper Bowl of Caring food drive. PHOTO via HAYS COUNTY FOOD BANK

STAFF REPORT

Shoppers at both San Marcos HEB stores, the Buda location, and the Kyle HEB Plus store bought 7,890 bags, for a total of about 50,000 pounds during the recent Souper Bowl of Caring food drive. Customers who chose to donate cash using the tear pad options contributed more than $13,300.

“This demonstration of this kind of generosity at this time of year, is almost incredible,” said Jane Moore, Hays County Food Bank community relations coordinator. “Hays County residents have a history of stepping up to help their neighbors during the holiday season, but this amount of help in January and February is unprecedented. We are extremely grateful.”

Moore said the Kyle HEB collected $21,991 in bags and tear pad donations. Buda HEB shoppers donated $17,677 in bags and tear pad donations. The large San Marcos HEB collected a total of $8,014 in bags and tear pad donations, and the small San Marcos HEB store customers contributed $5,179 in bags and tear pad donations. The grand total value of groceries and cash donations at all locations was $52,861.

“We simply could not continue to provide nutritious food to the growing number of families who need our help all year round without HEB,” said Jerry Gracy, Hays County Food Bank executive director. “Once again, we extend our thanks to people who live in Kyle, Buda, San Marcos and the surrounding areas who shop at HEB and help us help their neighbors throughout the county.”

Large donation deliveries did not wane as the food drive was coming to an end. On the Monday following the Super Bowl, a final truckload of donations from Buda included several grocery carts full of food, along with numerous large containers.

“Today was a big deal,” said food bank volunteer Kyle Sherrill just after he transported the last truckload of donations from the Buda HEB. “I thought the project might go out with a whimper after all we’ve already picked up the last few weeks, but that’s not the case.”

Sherrill transported the items with a large refrigerated box truck HEB refurbished for the food bank. The truck was donated by the Corpus Christi Food Bank.

The food bank distributed more than 620,000 pounds of food in 2011, with a 16 percent increase in the number of times people received food in 2010 through public distributions and their 60 partner agencies, according to Moore. The organization distributed food an average of 3,663 times a month (including some duplicates) this past year.

The Hays County Food Bank is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that since 1984 has served Hays County residents who need supplemental food assistance. Food aid recipients include senior citizens, low-income working families, the disabled, the temporarily unemployed, and other individuals and families facing difficult times.

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