Industry News

Spirit Golf Association launches Spirit Food Fund to benefit The Houston Food Bank in response to COVID-19

Local sports celebrities Jim Nantz, Stacy Lewis and Clyde Drexler join the campaign to help raise $2 million and to recruit hundreds of volunteers for the Houston Food Bank

TRINITY, Texas (May 14, 2020)The Spirit Golf Association (SGA) has partnered with the Houston Food Bank (HFB) to launch the Spirit Food Fund as an emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Houston community, there is currently a 130%-150% increase in demand over the 1.1 million food insecure people who are relying on the Houston Food Bank and its partner network for food assistance. The Houston Food Bank is responding by increasing food distribution by 150% of usual operations, distributing on average 1 million pounds of food a day. This unprecedented need means millions of dollars in additional funding are required to keep Houstonians healthy and fed.

Stacy Lewis and Corby Robertson at Houston Food Bank
Stacy Lewis and Corby Robertson at Houston Food Bank

SGA is launching the Spirit Food Fund campaign with a lead gift of $500,000 raised from SGA founder Corby Robertson, Jr., and his family, as well as The Cullen Foundation and the Cullen Trust for Higher Education. Prominent supporters of the campaign include local sports celebrities Jim Nantz, Stacy Lewis and Clyde Drexler along with the Texas Golf Association (TGA).

“We’re grateful to be able to partner with the great people at the Houston Food Bank to support fellow Texans in need,” said Robertson. “It is our responsibility to be there for our neighbors and communities.”

Stacy Lewis
Stacy Lewis

The SGA is not only mobilizing the golf community, but the greater Houston community as well, with plans to expand its mission throughout the state of Texas and beyond in support of those who are most vulnerable at this critical time. A $10 donation will provide 30 meals to families and individuals struggling to make ends meet.

“The significant support from The Spirit Golf Association will add critically needed funds to allow us to work to keep up with the ever-increasing demand for food assistance created by COVID-19,” says Brian Greene, president/CEO of Houston Food Bank. “With our distribution up 150% over pre-COVID figures and demand continuing to grow, our need for funding and volunteers increases daily. With tens of thousands of people out of work – for many this is the first time they need assistance – and kids who get meals at school now at home, the generous support from donors like The Spirit Golf Association will make a significant impact upon what we can do for our many neighbors in need.”

Spirit Food Bank Video: Narrated by Jim Nantz, featuring Stacy Lewis, Corby Robertson and the Houston Food Bank

To make a financial contribution to the Spirit Food Fund or to sign up and volunteer with the Houston Food Bank, please visit houstonfoodbank.org/spiritfoodfund or text SpiritFoodFund to 41444 with your donation. Funds will be used for food recovery, sorting and distribution, as well as the creation of Emergency Food Boxes for families.

WHAT: The Spirit Food Fund to benefit the Houston Food Bank

WHEN: Beginning Thursday, May 14, 2020

WHERE: Houston and Surrounding Communities

HOW: Donate or signup to volunteer at the Houston Food Bank: Visit houstonfoodbank.org/spiritfoodfund

Other ways to donate:
· Text SpiritFoodFund to 41444
· Mail Check (Include "Spirit Food Fund" in memo line), payable to Houston Food Fund
to Houston Food Bank, 535 Portwall, Houston, TX 77029
· Contact Donor Services at 713-547-8623

WHO: The Spirit Golf Association (SGA) led by Corby and Barbara Robertson along with local sports celebrities
Cullen Foundation
The Cullen Trust for Higher Education
Texas Golf Association

About The Spirit Golf Association | The Spirit Golf Association (SGA) is a 501 (c) (3) charity dedicated to the promotion of amateur golf for the benefit of supporting basic human needs for providing food, education and health programs and services. The SGA is the host organization of the premier amateur golf championship, The Spirit International, and home to Whispering Pines Golf Club, ranked by Golfweek as the #1 course in Texas and #24 on its top 100 modern courses list. The SGA has contributed more than $13 million to its charitable activities: The Spirit International Amateur Golf Championship and healthcare service providers such as Baylor College of Medicine Teen Health Clinics, Medical Bridges and The Immunization Partnership. In 2017, The Spirit Golf Association responded to the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts by directing funds to Harvey victims through the United Way, Houston Food Bank, KIPP, Yellowstone Academy and the Baylor College of Medicine Teen Health Clinics.

For more information about The Spirit Golf Association, please visit spiritgolfassociation.org.
About Houston Food Bank | Houston Food Bank’s mission is to provide food for better lives. Last year we provided access to 104 million nutritious meals in 18 counties in southeast Texas through our 1,500 community partners which includes food pantries, soup kitchens, social service providers and schools. We have a strong focus on healthy foods and fresh produce. In addition to distributing food, we provide services and connections to programs that address the root causes of hunger and are aimed at helping families achieve long-term stability, including nutrition education, job training, health management and help with securing state-funded assistance. We are a resource for individuals and families in times of hardship. We are a solution to food waste, working with grocery stores and growers to rescue food before it reaches landfills. In collaboration with our community, we advocate for policy change and promote dialogue on ways to increase access to food and to improve the lives of those we serve. Houston Food Bank works alongside our partner food banks in Montgomery County, Galveston Country, and Brazos Valley. Houston Food Bank is a certified member of Feeding America, the nation’s food bank network, with a four-star rating from Charity Navigator.

Media contacts:
Adele Brady | Houston Food Bank, abrady@houstonfoodbank.org, (713) 545-0876
Tammy Boclair | Alday Public Relations, tammy@aldaypr.com, (615) 500-2930