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'Dire need': How you can help the Houston Food Bank and Houston Super Feast before Thanksgiving

The Houston Food Bank lost 1.8 million pounds of food after an ammonia leak, and the Super Feast is $53,000 short in donations.

HOUSTON — Two well-known Houston organizations, the Houston Food Bank and Houston Super Feast, are in desperate need of help and donations ahead of Thanksgiving next week.

The Houston Food Bank is still recovering after an ammonia leak in its produce coolers destroyed 1.8 million pounds of fresh fruits, vegetables, rice and beans.

"Today's a unique day because the shelves are empty," said Nicole Lander, Chief Impact Officer with the Houston Food Bank. "This could not be the worst time for this, but any time is worst, but the need is elevated around the holiday time."

RELATED: Ammonia leak at Houston Food Bank spoils more than 1.8 million pounds of food

Cleaning crews were busy wiping down the coolers before they can restock food in them. Meanwhile, the food bank started using outdoor mobile cooling trailers to store and continue distributing smaller supplies of produce.

"We're not done yet," Lander said. "We're at the beginning stage. Still have to replenish the coolers. That's empty right now."

The food bank's biggest need right now is volunteers. You can also drop off non-perishable items or even donate money. $1 equals three meals.

"They have stepped up already," Lander said. "We've received financial donations. People are already bringing in fruits and veggies. Our call center has been receiving calls all day finding out how to help."

Houston Super Feast, the country's largest single feeding on Thanksgiving, will serve more than 100,000 plates in just eight days. They're down $53,000 in donations and food.

"That is a lot,' said PR Director Nicole Lopez. "We still need turkeys, canned goods, store-bought pies and dessert."

They need all the volunteers they can get, too. It takes 7,000 to 10,000 to make the Super Feast a success. The clock ticking, but organizers know Houston always steps up.

"We're a giving city, and we're a city that rallies around those in need," Lopez said.

In response to the leak at the Houston Food bank, United Airlines has launched a campaign to support recovery efforts. The airlines is matching up to $100,000 in individual donations to the food bank. MileagePlus members who donate $50 or more to Houston Food Bank are eligible to receive up to 1,000 award miles. For more information, tap/click here.

To help the Houston Food Bank, tap/click here.

To help Houston's Super Feast, tap/click here.

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