Houston Food Bank to expand thanks to transformational gift from Chevron
Thanks to an amazing gift from Chevron, Houston Food Bank’s impact and mission to provide food for better lives will be expanded greatly in Houston and southeast Texas for generations to come.
Chevron is gifting the Houston Food Bank with a 53-acre parcel located at Ella Blvd. and SH 249 on which to establish a second warehouse and distribution facility. The land donation is valued at approximately $10 million.
“The Houston Food Bank is doing incredible work helping our community thrive and prosper,” said Eimear Bonner, President of the Chevron Technical Center and Houston Food Bank board member. “Today, with Chevron’s donation of 53 acres of land, the food bank can accelerate plans to build its new distribution center helping to provide new services, recruit more volunteers and distribute food more equitably. Chevron’s incredibly proud to partner with this great organization on a project that will benefit the Houston community for years to come.”
Houston Food Bank’s mission to provide food for better lives has never been more important – nor tested and proven – than in the last few years. More people needed assistance than ever before due to the pandemic, a winter freeze, hurricanes and inflation, which hit in rapid succession. Between March 2020 and March 2021 alone, household food demand increased by 85%, reflecting the growth in households living in poverty or lacking the income to meet their basic needs. The ever-increasing demand put a strain on the Food Bank’s facilities, staff and operations, and they had to take on additional temporary warehouses to meet the need. With these facilities in place, the Food Bank was able to provide greater assistance to the community, proving how much more could be done with expanded facilities.
Houston Food Bank began looking at properties in select locations and flagged a property in Northwest Houston. When Chevron learned that Houston Food Bank was interested in acquiring the land for a new food distribution center, they met with them to learn more about their vision.
“We were encouraged and excited by Chevron’s initiative and interest in how this land could be a conduit for change rather than simply a retail pad site, how it could take on a new life to help fellow Texans and how it could take our partnership to the next level,” says Amy Ragan, chief development officer for the Houston Food Bank. “As we learned during the pandemic, food wasn’t so much the issue as was space for sorting, storing and distributing it. Chevron saw the need and potential and wanted to be the spark.
“This donation is truly an integrated social investment,” adds Ragan. “Chevron saw this as an opportunity to do something different, do something for our organization and ultimately the community. They shared a vision of how Houston Food Bank could meet its goals for crisis investment, employee engagement and community assistance. Houston Food Bank needs to grow, and this amazing gift is literally the foundation that will enable the much-needed expansion to happen.”
Chevron began its partnership with Houston Food Bank after learning of Houston’s food security needs and the Food Bank’s effective response after Hurricane Ike in 2008. Chevron has been a significant financial contributor to the Houston Food Bank over the past 14 years, including:
In 2021 and 2022, Chevron invested more than $500,000 in Food Bank programs including Backpack Buddy and Food for Change. Since 2018, employee contributions exceeded more than $450,000 which is matched dollar for dollar by Chevron. Houston Food Bank is Chevron Houston’s largest volunteer partner by hours and number of participants, reaching more than 12,000 volunteer hours since 2018 and recently receiving the Bronze Presidential Volunteerism award. “Through our involvement with the Houston Food Bank, Chevron is aware of the tremendous need for food security in our community,” said Bonner, “and this is our way to be a part of the solution.”
With this tremendous gift, Houston Food Bank will now begin the expansion process with the goal of opening a new facility in 2025.