25 years ago, Houston Police Officer Joe Dominguez wanted to help the hungry during Christmas. He organized a food drive that helped feed 600 families. Now more 35-hundred families benefit from La Comida. It is now one of the
largest food drives in the city of Houston, thanks in part to Fiesta Food Mart and the Pepsi Bottling Company. Houston Police Officer Alvin Steelman was at the launch at the Fiesta in north Houston. He says officers and 93 churches and
organizations work to collect food and money.
"The money that's donated, Fiesta actually buys food in bulk. We usually get about, between two and three trailer loads of food, then all the volunteers come out to the Pepsi warehouse and we load the boxes up with the food that was collected and purchased, and then the churches on the following Saturday come out and pick that food up — the 35-hundred packed boxes — they pick that food up and take it to the neighborhood where it's most needed."
CM Ed Gonzalez says his fondest memories as a police officer came from his involvement with La Comida.
"And it was always a very warm response. They were always good to see a blue uniform out there, and interacting with the community, so it's a great project."
PH: "Do you think that the need is greater now than it was back then?"
Gonzalez: "Absolutely. Most food banks will tell you that they're at capacity and actually can't meet the demand. We have a lot of working poor out there. A lot of folks that can't make ends meet. So, this is a little bit extra in such a critical time for families."
To donate nonperishable food, you can go to any participating Fiesta from 1-7pm on Thursday, and Friday, and from 10am to 4pm on Saturday and Sunday.Here's the list of the 14 participating Fiesta Food Marts:
- 3803 Dunlavy
- 1175 Edgebrook
- 2300 N. Shepherd
- 7510 Bellfort
- 4711 Airline
- 5600 Mykawa
- 8320 FM 1960
- 11240 Fondren
- 10401 Jensen
- 8130 Kirby
- 12201 East Freeway
- 4200 San Jacinto
- 800 S. Wayside
- 6200 Bellaire