In a perfect world, Houston Astros third baseman Alex Bregman would be blasting home runs and brilliantly fielding hits in Minute Maid Park and in Major League Baseball stadiums across the country.
But with the COVID-19 pandemic shutting MLB operations down for the foreseeable future, the Astros fan favorite has turned his attention to helping Houstonians who may have been overlooked in the news: those experiencing food insecurity.
To that end, the Bregman has launched FEEDHOU, a $1 million fundraising campaign to help feed Houston-area residents experiencing food insecurity during the COVID-19 crisis. Proceeds from the campaign directly benefit the Houston Food Bank, according to organizers.
“While the Astros are off the field, I want to create a new team to help Houston’s hungry. Houston is my home, and right now my home is in need,” said Bregman, in a statement. “By partnering with a great organization such as the Houston Food Bank, we can all do our part to ensure Houston’s underserved children and families continue to get the support they need during these difficult times.”
To help kickstart the FEEDHOU, Bregman and Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale each have committed $100,000 for the cause, according to a press release.
“I am thrilled to support the Houston Food Bank, a leading organization dedicated to helping Texans during this pandemic,” said McIngvale, in a statement. “The Houston Food Bank has been a force for good for decades and I could not be more excited to partner with Alex Bregman, Paul Wall, and Houston Food Bank.”
Bregman is calling on Houstonians to step up to the plate and contribute by texting FEEDHOU to the number 41444 or by visiting the FEEDHOU Alex’s Army donation page online.
Thus far, myriad Houstonians have donated, including a who's-who selection of local celebs:
- Whitney and Jim Crane / The Astros Foundation
- Linda and Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale
- Sheridan and John Eddie Williams
- Amy and Rob Pierce
- Kendall and Edward Ondarza
- Soraya and Scott McClelland / HEB
- Becky and Kelly Joy
- Clare Casademont and Michael Metz
- Barbara and Michael Gamson
- Janet Gurwitch
- Rachel and Jeff Bagwell
- Carol and Mike Linn
To support the cause, local rap star, Paul Wall, has dropped a special album, dubbed Frozen Face – Vol 3 – FEEDHOU Edition, which includes songs and lyrics inspired by the mission of FEEDHOU and will be available on music platforms such as Spotify. Wall also developed artwork that prominently displays “FEEDHOU” on his new album cover.
“Any opportunity to bridge the gap between those that need help and those that want to provide help, I am down with,” Wall said in a statement. “I am the people’s champ of hip-hop, and Alex and Mac are the champs of their worlds. I feel very lucky to be part of what they are doing for the Houston Food Bank and am excited to give back to a city that has given me so much.”
Bregman’s initiative is the latest in a push by local athletes to help during the COVID-19 pandemic. Astros ace, Lance McCullers, Jr., also aided the Houston Food Bank by donating 10,000 meals to the organization. Astros superstar pitcher Justin Verlander donated his weekly paychecks during the coronavirus shutdown to organizations that are helping with relief efforts.
Houston Rockets players delivered meals to Memorial Hermann Hospital locations in the Greater Heights and Katy over Easter weekend. And Houston Texans superstar J.J. Watt and his wife, Kealia Ohai, donated $350,000 to the Houston Food Bank.