Simone Biles gives back to Houston by addressing surge in food insecurity

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Gymnast Simone Biles is addressing one of the challenges currently facing many Americans: food insecurity.

Feeding America, a nonprofit organization that has a nationwide network of food banks, estimates that more than 50 million people (including 17 million children) may experience food insecurity this year.

The Houston area – where Biles is from – is currently dealing with one of the worst hunger surges in the country. Data collected by the Census Bureau found that 1 in 5 adults in Houston had recently gone hungry, including 3 in 10 adults in households with children.

The Houston Food Bank is the largest in the country, serving 18 Texas counties. In recent months, the organization has supplied over 1 million pounds of food in a day to those in need. Before the pandemic, the organization averaged 450,000 pounds a day.

Biles’ gym – World Champions Centre – recently organized two food drives, one ahead of Thanksgiving and another in advance of Christmas.

“Since I’m in the Houston community, and they’ve given so much to me… I feel like I have to do the same,” Biles said in a Tuesday morning interview on TODAY.

“I just don’t want anybody to go hungry over the holidays,” Biles said in her interview, later following up on Twitter, “or EVER.”

[Related: Continuing the count: American women look to extend Olympic medal streaks]

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