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Bregman's FEEDHOU to help Houston residents

@brianmctaggart
April 10, 2020

HOUSTON -- Sitting at home while baseball and the rest of the world is on hold because of the coronavirus pandemic, Astros third baseman Alex Bregman and his fiancée, Reagan Howard, wondered how they could help a community in a crisis. With thousands of people losing jobs and the need

HOUSTON -- Sitting at home while baseball and the rest of the world is on hold because of the coronavirus pandemic, Astros third baseman Alex Bregman and his fiancée, Reagan Howard, wondered how they could help a community in a crisis.

With thousands of people losing jobs and the need for food assistance on the rise, Bregman has launched FEEDHOU, a fundraising campaign with the goal of raising $1 million to help feed Houston area residents during the COVID-19 outbreak. Proceeds from the campaign go directly to benefit the Houston Food Bank, a nonprofit committed to feeding the hungry in the Houston area.

Bregman and Howard volunteered Friday at the Houston Food Bank to bring attention to the campaign and help kickstart the initiative. Bregman and Houston entrepreneur Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale each donated $100,000 to the cause.

“We definitely think the Houston Food Bank does unbelievable work, and we wanted to help out, but not only donate money,” Bregman said. “We want to be on hand and actually help and see where the money we’re donating is going and ensure the people that donate to this cause that their money goes to exactly what it is, and that’s feeding the kids here in Houston.”

Donations can be made by typing “FEEDHOU” in a text message to the number 41444 or by visiting the FEEDHOU Alex’s Army donation page.

“Hopefully we can raise a lot and we can rally around our community in Houston, and we can impact as many lives as possible,” said Bregman, who joined Howard in wearing protective masks and gloves while packing shelf-stable meals for kids on Friday.

Amy Ragan, chief development officer for the Houston Food Bank, said $1 million would fund 3 million meals, which is vital during this time of need. She said the food bank is distributing 150 percent more pounds of food than it normally does, and its call center is 400 percent busier than usual.

“The need is really significant, and for a lot of these people, it’s the first time they’ve ever had to seek food assistance, and it’s really difficult and it’s hard,” Ragan said.

The Houston Food Bank is also getting assistance from Astros pitcher Justin Verlander, who took to Instagram with his wife, model Kate Upton, on Friday to announce his first weekly paycheck would be going to the food bank. Verlander is donating his salary to different charities each week.

“They actually need more help now than they did after the devastation of Hurricane Harvey [in 2017], so it really goes to show the demand for food out there in the world,” Verlander said in a video posted on Instagram.

To further assist the FEEDHOU campaign, Houston rapper Paul Wall is creating an album entitled “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.

As far as baseball goes, Bregman says he’s working out daily at his home gym and will be ready when the game returns.

“Right now, we’re trying to just focus on helping people,” he said. “I’m staying ready. I’m working out every single day. For me, there’s more important things to be doing right now and that’s helping people.”

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter.