TYLER, Texas (KETK) – The Tyler High and Tyler Legacy rivalry is bringing the community together for a good cause.

The Tyler Independent School District and the East Texas Food bank are holding their 32nd annual pantry raid before their football game to collect food and money for local residents.

“So many families here in Tyler do struggle with food insecurity, so it really helps to help feed East Texas,” said Jack Bergfeld, a Tyler Legacy student.

More than 1.5 million meals were given to community members since the event was started in 1991.

“This year’s event is more important than ever as so many East Texans are struggling to feed their families because of the high cost of food due to inflation,” said Dennis Cullinane, CEO of the East Texas Food Bank. “We are so excited that students will kick off the football season by supporting their community to help the one in six East Texans facing hunger, including one in four children.” 

The pantry raid will last several weeks.

It makes me feel great. I love to know that we are making a difference in the community and that we are able to help out with people that are struggling with serious challenges,” said Bergfeld.

The event results will be shared with the community during the football game on Friday, Sept. 2 at CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium. Donations can be made at www.tylerpantryraid.com

In 2021, students raised 102,257 meals.

The donations from the event will benefit the BackPack Program and Kids Café. More than 8,700 children get backpacks every weekend with healthy food, so they can have meals until Monday.

The Kids Cafe and Afterschool Snack Program provided 115,000 meals and more than 31,000 snacks last school year.

“Tyler ISD is grateful to the East Texas Food Bank for its continued impact on the lives of our students and families each year,” said Jennifer Hines, Tyler ISD Chief Communications Officer. “The hunger-relief services ETFB provides is a tremendous benefit to our families.”