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UST Partners with Houston Food Bank to Help Address Hunger on Campus during COVID-19

Food drive on campusUniversity of St. Thomas (UST) and Houston Food Bank have formed a new partnership to help fill the pantries of students, faculty and staff, and neighbors experiencing food insecurities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This week, UST hosted the first of many on-campus, Food for Change mobile food distributions to better the quality of life for its campus community. Members of the Texas National Guard worked side-by-side with UST volunteers to assemble pre-packaged boxes of produce and nonperishable items. More than 231 cars attended the contactless, drive-through experience which resulted in 351 households and a total of 1,331 people receiving nutritious food to fuel a healthy life.

“UST is feeding our students in more than one way…spiritually, mentally and now physically,” UST President Dr. Richard Ludwick said. “Food insecurity harms college students' ability to succeed in classes. Our goal, along with our partners, is to address food insecurity on our campus, like many campuses in America. The University plans to continue hosting on-campus food distributions and open a food pantry this fall.”

Houston Food Bank Hosts First University Mobile Distribution at UST

As a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Houston community, there is currently a 130-150 percent increase in demand over the 1.1 million food insecure people who are relying on the Houston Food Bank and its partner network for food assistance. The Houston Food Bank is responding by increasing food distribution by 150 percent of usual operations to include college campuses like University of St. Thomas, distributing on average 1 million pounds of food a day.

“Houston Food Bank is excited about its newest Food For Change Partnership with University of St. Thomas, a community leader serving the greater good and helping those in need,” says Brian Greene, president and CEO of Houston Food Bank. “This first mobile distribution assisted students and their families who are experiencing hardship as a result of COVID-19. We appreciate the assistance of UST to help us serve those in need and provide food for better lives.” 

The Spirit Golf Association Initiative

UST’s mobile food distribution is part of a larger initiative called the Spirit Food Fund, an emergency response to the COVID-19 crisis led by The Spirit Golf Association (SGA), in partnership with the Cullen Trust for Higher Education.

SGA launched the Spirit Food Fund campaign with a lead gift of $500,000 raised from SGA founder Corby Robertson, Jr., and his family, as well as The Cullen Foundation and the Cullen Trust for Higher Education. SGA is not only mobilizing the golf community, but the greater Houston community as well, with plans to expand its mission throughout the state of Texas and beyond in support of those who are most vulnerable at this critical time. 


University of St. Thomas is a comprehensive university, grounded in the liberal arts. Committed to the unity of all knowledge, UST offers programs in the traditional liberal arts, professional, and skilled-based disciplines. Graduates of the University of St. Thomas think critically, communicate effectively, succeed professionally, and lead ethically.

For more information on the University of St. Thomas, please visit www.stthom.edu.

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.

For more information about the Houston Food Bank, please visit www.houstonfoodbank.org

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, and home to 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.