Industry News

Spirit Golf Association’s Spirit Food Fund benefitting the Houston Food Bank reaches more than $1.1 million

In just one month since its launch, the Spirit Food Fund campaign is more than halfway to its goal of $2 million, in addition to recruiting hundreds of volunteers and expanding its efforts to Food Banks throughout Texas

HOUSTON, Texas (June 15, 2020) – The Spirit Golf Association (SGA)’s Spirit Food Fund, launched May 14, 2020, as an emergency response to the COVID-10 pandemic, has passed the halfway point in pursuit of SGA’s goal to raise $2 million for the Houston Food Bank (HFB).

SFF Volunteer Day.jpg
Members and volunteers with the Spirit Golf Association came together to support Houston's food insecure population at the Houston Food Bank on Friday, June 12.

Following lead gifts from SGA founder Corby Robertson, Jr., and his family, as well as The Cullen Foundation and The Cullen Trust for Higher Education, the campaign’s grassroots fundraising efforts and support from organizations and prominent individuals have already made an impact serving the 2.7 million food insecure people who rely on the Houston Food Bank and its partner network for food assistance. Spirit Food Fund partners include the Texas Golf Association (TGA), Memorial Hermann Hospital, Texas Children’s Hospital, the Houston Texans, Houston Baptist University, St. Thomas University, University of Houston and Baylor College of Medicine. The campaign has received support from many well-known members of the community as well, including Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan, former NBA superstar Clyde Drexler, CBS broadcaster Jim Nantz and LPGA star Stacy Lewis.

As a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Houston community, HFB is increasing food distribution by 150% of usual operations, distributing on average 1 million pounds of food a day. The early success of the Spirit Food Fund has made SGA more determined than ever to reach the campaign’s $2 million goal. Since the start of the pandemic, the number of food insecure people has increased from 1.1 million to 2.7 million in the 18-county service area.

“We are amazed by the outpouring of support we’ve seen from SGA members, the golf community and all our friends and neighbors,” said Robertson. “The response to the Spirit Food Fund has made me incredibly proud, but our work is not done. The need in Houston and throughout the great state of Texas requires our continued, diligent efforts.”
SGA is currently working with The Caring Place in Georgetown, Texas, with a $100,000 gift from Southwestern University, provided by The Cullen Trust of Higher Education. Beginning in July, SGA is joining forces with Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin in support of Good Apple, a grocery delivery service providing fresh, local, organic produce and other essential food items to older and at-risk members of the Austin community. And, plans are in the works to partner with the Texas Golf Association to help the North Texas and Tarrant Area Food Banks in Dallas/Fort Worth.

While the mission and work of the Spirit Food Fund is expanding to cover the entire state of Texas, SGA’s commitment to raise $2 million for Houston remains steadfast.

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. A $10 donation will provide 30 meals to families and individuals struggling to make ends meet. 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 Reaches More than $1.1 Million

WHEN: Ongoing since its launch 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
The Cullen Foundation
The Cullen Trust for Higher Education
Texas Golf Association
Memorial Hermann
Texas Children’s Hospital
Houston Texans
Houston Baptist University
St. Thomas University
University of Houston
Baylor College of Medicine

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, held at 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