HOUSTON - Houston’s mayor and police chief say after Harvey, more residents than ever are at risk of going hungry during the holidays.
On Monday morning, they asked the public for help to make sure thousands of Houstonians get enough to eat. Mayor Sylvester Turner and Police Chief Art Acevedo joined other officers to kick off the Houston Police Department’s 32nd annual Comida Food Drive at the Fiesta store on South Wayside Drive in Southeast Houston.
What started 32 years earlier as one officer’s concern for struggling Houstonians has grown into one of the largest food drives in Houston. In 2016, it fed more than 3,500 families, but a year later, many who have given in the past are now the ones needing help.
“Prior to Harvey, they were already on the margins, and now they’re pushed a little bit further,” said Mayor Turner. “Food drives like this, at this particular point in time, it’s almost like that safety net.”
Chief Acevedo says after Harvey devastated 30,000 Houstonians’ homes, HPD is hoping to double the previous year’s total and feed at least 7,000 families.
“Believe me, there’s more need than there is capacity, so please help us out,” said Chief Acevedo. “Help us help others. Kids should not go to sleep hungry, they should not wake up hungry, and they certainly should not spend the holidays hungry.”
In 2016, the Comida Food Drive raised over $72,000. On Monday, officials said there’s no limit to how much cash they’re willing to raise. They say all cash will go toward buying food.
The drive starts Thursday and runs through Sunday. Donations can be made at select Fiesta stores or through HPD’s website.
Houston Citizens' Police Academy Alumni Association, Fiesta Mart and the Pepsi Bottling Group are returning as drive co-sponsors.