Unloading trucks full of boxes of food is never a chore at the Houston Food Bank. It's always good to see a new delivery truck arrive at the docks.
"On any given day, 66,000 people in our community are hungry," said Betsy Ballard, spokeswoman for the Houston Food Bank. "Three thousand of them are children."
And that's what makes this particular donation so special.
Two trucks arrived at the docks on Friday morning loaded with food from students at West University Elementary School.
For five days, children from kindergarten to fifth grade collected canned and boxed goods, along with bags of rice and beans with the goal of beating the top single donor from last year's Souper Bowl of Caring food drive.
It was a difficult task.
You see, the West University children were trying to outdo themselves. West University Elementary was the top donor in 2012 for all schools and organizations nationwide.
Within the halls, collecting for the drive has become an inner competition to see which classroom will turn in the most pounds of food.
But it is more than a game.
It's teaching outside of the box, an opportunity to learn.
"Life isn't about just always having enough," said Ballard. "There are so many people who simply don't have the food they need to keep their bellies full."
John Threet is the principal at West University.
"Some of it is a competition," said Threet, "but we see a need. Our kids are fairly privileged, and I'm very big on they need to give back and understand there's a lot of folks that don't have it as easy as they do."
Some of the food was paid for by children, who saved allowance money, then went grocery shopping with their parents. Other children walked around their neighborhoods and collected food.
West University Elementary has almost 1,200 students.
The school donated 29,000 pounds of food to the Houston Food Bank in 2012, an average of 24 pounds per child.
"Our parents have done unofficial weights as part of our classroom competition," said Threet. "And based on what we saw, we increased from what we collected last year by about 600 pounds."