The Comida, Spanish for food, drive is an annual event by various agencies to feed those in need during the holiday season.
Houston Police Chief Charles McClelland says the generosity of Houstonians has enabled to effort to grow each year.
"We take for granted sometimes, during the holiday season and handing out gifts to our friends and family and children, but there are many in our community that don't have the basic necessities, just food to eat. We want to top our goal of feeding more than 3500 families as we did last year, also we collected over $50,000 dollars of cash donations."
In 1985 when Houston Police responded to a service call, officer Joe Dominguez, who's now retired, saw a family in need. This is Houston Police Officer James Byrd:
Houston Police Officer James Byrd
"He was out on patrol and he noticed a need for some citizens, who did not have enough food to eat, but he took it up on himself to gather some other officers together, and they asked others to participate and ultimately, he ended up giving 600 boxes of food that year."
Cash collected is used to buy basic food staples: potatoes, vegetables, fruit and pasta. From Thursday through Sunday of this week, perishable food and cash will be collected at 14 participating Fiesta Mart locations.
Byrd says next week, the collection will be taken to a central warehouse,to be sorted and packaged.
"Ultimately it's packaged with the help of the churches. And then on a Saturday, all those particular churches actually end up receiving their food."
Information on the Comida Food Drive can be found at www.houstontx.gov/police/comida/.