LAKE JACKSON — H-E-B and the Brazosport Cares Food Pantry are hoping residents checking out in the line at the grocery store will ring up a few more dollars for the Souper Bowl of Caring program.

The Lake Jackson H-E-B is hosting the Souper Bowl of Caring this month through Super Bowl Sunday. It is a food drive that sends all of the proceeds to local food pantries like Brazosport Cares in Freeport. Representatives from BASF, Dow and Freeport LNG came together on Wednesday and bought about 300 food bags.

The month-long Souper Bowl of Caring, one of the nation’s largest food drives, runs through Feb. 3 — Super Bowl Sunday. The goal is to collect food and money to restock county pantry shelves, addressing an ongoing need for food assistance.

Having local corporate support greatly helps with the Souper Bowl, H-E-B Community Coordinator Kenzie Bachus said.

There is no set goal amount for donations this year, Bachus said.

“We just try and do the most that we can,” she said. “We are always striving for more.”

Last year, H-E-B raised about $38,867 in donations, Dow Community Relations Manager Gabriella Cone said.

The Souper Bowl of Caring started in 1990 in South Carolina and earned $5,700, according to souperbowl.org. Now, 19 years later, the event has gained the attention of the NFL and U.S. presidents, and last year brought in more than $8 million.

About three years ago, BASF, Dow Chemical Co. and Freeport LNG talked about helping out with the Souper Bowl program because of the food hunger problem in Brazoria County, Cone said.

“This community comes together all the time,” she said. “It was an easy decision to come to, really. The need is great.”

She is ecstatic to know local companies in Brazoria County care about food hunger, Brazosport Cares Food Pantry Director Christy Frey said.

“We have the most amazing corporate partners,” she said. “They never forget about the community.”

Every little bit helps with donating because it allows the food pantry to spend less of its own funding, Frey said.

“It helps give our families a well-rounded diet,” she said. “This gives us a great inventory.”

To have the support of BASF, Dow Chemical Co. and Freeport LNG creates more needed attention on the Souper Bowl program, Frey said.

“I feel so blessed every time they step in,” she said. “It’s pretty exciting.”

No matter how small or large the contribution, any help from the community is appreciated, Frey said.

“One can make a difference,” she said.

Connor Behrens is a reporter at The Facts. You can contact him at 979-237-0150.

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