Former Spurs player Tim Duncan announced Tuesday the beginning of an effort to raise $500,000 for hungry San Antonio families during the holiday season, pledging to contribute two dollars for every dollar donated to the San Antonio Food Bank.

With Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich looking on, Duncan announced the “2:1” holiday challenge, which will run until $500,000 has been donated, at the Food Bank’s headquarters. Duncan said he hopes to see the challenge completed before Christmas.

“During this holiday season … I’m putting out a challenge there to raise money to help feed San Antonio and the San Antonio area throughout these holidays,” Duncan said. “Hopefully, we can reach that goal and help a lot of families.”

Donors giving at least $21 – the jersey number worn by the power forward during his playing days and an amount the Food Bank said will provide 441 meals – will receive a holiday card from Duncan. The first 10 donors giving $2,100 or more will receive a 2014 NBA Spurs championship hat signed by Duncan.

Duncan said he was first introduced to the San Antonio Food Bank a few years ago when Popovich brought the Spurs team to volunteer in the organization’s warehouse. Since then, Duncan has partnered with the Food Bank to help distribute food to people in the hurricane-ravaged U.S. Virgin Islands, where he was born and raised.

“Being with [the Food Bank] and seeing what they do from the other side, understanding how many people they help, and actually going out and doing it with them in the Virgin Islands gave me a whole different perspective,” Duncan said. “An understanding of how much people need and how good it feels to help people.”

Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich.
Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich. Credit: Scott Ball / San Antonio Report

Popovich praised Duncan for the stalwart work he does to help the city, which he said often goes unnoticed due to Duncan’s taciturn nature.

“This is a need we all know about, and its great to have someone like Timmy involved,” Popovich said. “I’m hopeful that everyone will take him up on this, because the need never stops.”

Individuals interested in donating may do so here.

Jeffrey Sullivan is a Rivard Report reporter. He graduated from Trinity University with a degree in Political Science.