January 29, 2009
MCALLEN - The NBA D-League Rio Grande Valley Vipers and Food Bank RGV announced today that they are forming a partnership with Walgreens to help collect food for the “Hoops Against Hunger Food Drive.”
In addition to donating food at Dodge Arena before Vipers games, fans can now donate food at any Rio Grande Valley Walgreens location. Whether the food is donated at Dodge Arena or Walgreens, fans can receive one free ticket for every donation of four non-perishable food items for the remainder of the season.
“We are excited that Walgreens has shown that they want to help the Vipers provide assistance to not only the Food Bank RGV, but to those in need in the Rio Grande Valley,” Vipers President and General Manager Brian Michael Cooper said.
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,” Food and Fund Drive Manager Carter Robinson said.
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 set a goal of collecting one ton (2,000 pounds) of food over the course of the remaining 10 home games, which would require an average of 200 pounds of food per game.
“With Walgreens now helping us to collect food, there is no reason why we cannot only meet our goal, but exceed it as well,” Cooper said.
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.