Vipers to Host "Hoops Against Hunger Food Drive"

Team Will Work in Conjunction with Food Bank RGV on Season-Long Food Drive

January 19, 2009

MCALLEN, TEXAS - The NBA D-League Rio Grande Valley Vipers announced today that they will be offering one free ticket for every donation of four non-perishable food items for the remainder of the season.

The food will be collected by Food Bank RGV inside Dodge Arena at every Vipers home game, starting with Tuesday’s 7:00 p.m. contest against the Anaheim Arsenal. Doors open at 6:00.

“The Vipers are glad to be working again with the Food Bank RGV to provide assistance to those in need in the Rio Grande Valley,” said Vipers President and General Manager Brian Michael Cooper.

After making their donations, fans will be given a free ticket to any upcoming Vipers home game.

The only time a ticket will be issued for that night’s game is on April 11th, when the Vipers close out the regular-season against Austin. The donation area will be outside the turnstiles for that game.

Whichever fan brings the most non-perishable food items to each game will receive a basketball autographed by all of the Vipers players and coaches as well as Hall-of-Famer George Gervin.

One out of every five children go to bed hungry in the United States. That number jumps to one in four in Texas and 50% in the Rio Grande Valley.

“The harsh stark reality is that if we feed every single hungry person in the valley today, they will be hungry again tomorrow. Hunger doesn’t only occur during the holiday giving season. People need food year round,” said Food and Fund Drive Manager Carter Robinson.

The Food Bank RGV distributes 69,000 meals per week, with two-thirds of those going to children.

After Hurricane Dolly hit, the Food Bank RGV distributed over one million pounds (500 tons) of food and water.

The Vipers and Food Bank RGV are setting a goal of collecting one ton (2,000 pounds) of food over the course of the remaining 12 home games, which would require an average of 167 pounds of food per game.

The Vipers participated in a Sort-A-Thon with Food Bank RGV on Friday, January 16th as part of Inauguration Weekend.

The Food Bank RGV is located at 2601 W. Zinnia in McAllen.

Remaining Home Games:

  • Tue 1/20 vs Anaheim Arsenal - 7:00 p.m.
  • Wed 1/21 vs Tulsa 66ers - 7:00 p.m.
  • Fri 1/30 vs Colorado 14ers - 7:00 p.m.
  • Sat 1/31 vs Colorado 14ers - 7:00 p.m.
  • Sun 2/8 vs Austin Toros - 7:00 p.m.
  • Thu 2/26 vs Fort Wayne Mad Ants - 7:00 p.m.
  • Tue 3/3 vs Albuquerque Thunderbirds - 7:00 p.m.
  • Sun 3/22 vs Austin Toros - 3:30 p.m.
  • Fri 3/27 vs Tulsa 66ers - 7:00 p.m.
  • Sat 3/28 vs Bakersfield Jam - 7:00 p.m.
  • Sun 4/5 vs Iowa Energy - 5:00 p.m.
  • Sat 4/11 vs Austin Toros - 7:00 p.m.

The Rio Grande Valley Vipers are a professional basketball team in the NBA Development League (NBA D-League). The NBA Development League, founded in 2001, is the NBA’s official minor league and features 16 teams with direct affiliations to NBA teams. The league has produced 15 percent of the players on 2007-08 end-of-season NBA rosters and continues to develop current NBA coaches and referees. In fostering the league’s connection to the community, its teams, players and staff promote youth basketball, support local needs and interests, and assist in educational development through NBA D-League Cares programs. The NBA D-League also advances the game of basketball as the research and development arm of the NBA. Throughout this season fans can watch all NBA D-League games on NBA Futurecast, the free live Web-streaming initiative found at nba.com/futurecast. The Vipers NBA affiliates are the Houston Rockets, and the New Orleans Hornets.