SAN ANTONIO — With winter break around the corner, even more children and families across the state will struggle with the threat of hunger. To combat the problem, H-E-B through its Food Bank Assistance Program will donate more than 1.2 million sweet potatoes to 17 Texas food banks this holiday season.

“The holidays are a time for celebration, but anytime children are on break from school the need for food grows,” said Winell Herron, H-E-B Group Vice President Public Affairs, Diversity and Environmental Affairs. “H-E-B is committed to supporting our communities and helping families in need with the necessary resources to avoid hunger this holiday season as well as throughout the year.”

When school is out, food banks across Texas see a surge in demand for food. Without access to daily school lunches, children are especially at risk of facing hunger. H-E-B works directly with food banks that are affiliated with Feeding Texas, a member of Feeding America, the nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief organization. Last year, Feeding Texas food banks distributed more than 300 million pounds of food to Texas communities.

“Thanks to H-E-B’s generous gift, food banks across the state will be able to offer another fresh, nutritious food item to hungry Texans this holiday season,” said Feeding Texas CEO Celia Cole. “We are so grateful for our partnership with H-E-B and their commitment to help narrow the hunger gap in Texas.”

In 2016, more than 15.5 million U.S. households were faced with the threat of hunger, a recent report from the United States Department of Agriculture shows. From 2014-2016, 1.4 million (one in seven) Texas households faced the threat of hunger, and last year, one in four children in Texas were at risk of facing hunger. During this period, Texas was one of just fifteen states with greater food insecurity than the entire nation.

Throughout the year, the H-E-B Food Bank Assistance Program works to raise awareness and battle hunger. Last year, the program donated 33.2 million pounds of food to families in need, and since 1982, the year the program was founded, H-E-B has donated more than 1 billion pounds of food to 5,500 non-profit organizations in Texas and Mexico.

Altogether, more than 600,000 pounds of sweet potatoes will be delivered to the 17 food banks in Texas. The following locations will receive deliveries:

San Antonio
• San Antonio Food Bank – (San Antonio)

South Texas
• South Texas Food Bank – (Laredo)
• Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley – (Pharr)

Gulf Coast
• Food Bank of the Golden Crescent – (Victoria)
• Coastal Bend Food Bank – (Corpus Christi)

Central Texas
• Central Texas Food Bank – (Austin)
• Brazos Valley Food Bank – (Bryan/College Station)

West Texas
• West Texas Food Bank – (Odessa)
• Concho Valley Food Bank – (San Angelo)
• Food Bank of West Central Texas – (Abilene)

Dallas/Fort Worth
• North Texas Food Bank – (Dallas)
• Tarrant Area Food Bank – (Fort Worth)

• Houston Food Bank – (Houston)
• Southeast Texas Food Bank – (Beaumont)
• Montgomery County Food Bank – (Conroe)
• Galveston County Food Bank – (Texas City)

East Texas
• East Texas Food Bank – (Tyler)