In this challenging economic climate, local food banks are seeing a significant increase in the need for food among families and individuals that is far outpacing incoming donations.

In response to this growing concern, H-E-B is stepping up to the plate by making additional donations to area food banks in this critical time of need.

The company recently donated half a truck load, or 18,000 pounds, of perishable foods, including fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as non-perishable items to the Food Bank of Corpus Christi.

"The needs of Corpus Christi's less fortunate have increased-people who needed our help last year need more of it today," said Winell Herron, Group Vice President of Public Affairs and Diversity for H-E-B. "Hunger prevention has been a core pillar of support at H-E-B for more than 100 years, and now more than ever it is important to support the food banks that help feed Texas residents."

H-E-B's ongoing commitment to hunger relief and the communities it serves has been recognized as an important part of the way the company does business. The H-E-B Food Bank Assistance Program allows for the redistribution of food and non-food products, supporting a total of 16 food banks in Texas and 11 in Mexico, delivering more than 26 million pounds of food, non-perishable drugstore items, breads and pastries annually. Additionally, H-E-B donates five percent of its pre-tax earnings annually to charitable organizations that are committed to making a positive difference in Texas communities.

"H-E-B has been a tremendous partner of the Food Bank of Corpus Christi throughout the year, but this extra support couldn't have come at a better time," said Bea Hanson, Executive Director of the Food Bank of Corpus Christi. "There is no company that has done more to benefit the community than H-E-B, and we are extremely grateful for their commitment to fighting hunger in Corpus Christi."

To date, in addition to annual gifts made to food banks in Texas, more than eight truck loads, or approximately 292,000 pounds, of perishable and non-perishable foods were donated this holiday season.

These donations are among the many ways H-E-B supports hunger relief in Texas.

Below are additional examples of the company's commitment to fighting hunger throughout Texas and Mexico.

Since its inception in 1982, H-E-B has delivered more than 750 million pounds of food, non-foods, perishables, pastries and bread to food banks participating in the program.

Currently, the program supports 16 Feeding America Food Banks in Texas, and 11 Mexican Association of Food Banks in Mexico that fight hunger and malnutrition.

In turn, the food banks distribute the goods to more than 5,000 non-profit organizations serving 200 counties in Texas and three states in Mexico.

In 2008, donations in Texas and Mexico reached 26 million pounds with an estimated value of $34.5 million.

Through company programs like Help End Hunger, Souper Bowl of Caring and Share Your Christmas, H-E-B and its shoppers generously donated $600,000 to 16 Texas Food Banks and other Hunger Relief organizations this year alone.

For the past fourteen years, with the help and support of H-E-B and its loyal customers, food banks across Texas have received more than $6 million in funds that were utilized in purchasing staple food items and other services that help them accomplish their mission.

In addition to food and grant donations to local food banks in Texas and Mexico, H-E-B provides other contributions such as storage rack systems, material handling equipment, coolers, freezers and as well as expert consulting and training services in areas such as facility layout.