The Houston Food Bank needs help after it was forced to throw out about 1.8 million pounds of food due to an ammonia leak that contaminated its refrigerated areas last week.

"We have about 28,000 square feet of refrigerated space in addition to the frozen space, and [in] one of the refrigerators, the fan caved into the actual unit itself and caused an ammonia leak," Houston Food Bank President Brian Greene said.

The food bank works to help the 1.1 million people struggling with food insecurity in 18 Houston-area counties, but because of the contamination, Greene says it caused a disruption to serve partners.

"This leak occurred Tuesday evening. We run 24 hours a day, so the night shift is who was having to deal with that," Greene said.

The Houston Food Bank will need the community's help to replace the lost food.
Learn more about how to donate your time, food or money here.

Green estimates the loss was worth $2.7 million.

"The best way that people can help us is volunteering because what we do is we go out and get donations from literally all over the country," Greene said. "So much of this product requires work, and it's our ability to say yes to the donations to labor that we can use to replace this."

ABC13 and the Houston Food Bank are also teaming up for the 39th annual ABC13's Share Your Holidays Food Drive.

People can donate food in a red barrel at local grocery stores from Nov. 23-Dec. 6. Food can also be dropped off during the live broadcast Dec. 6 at the ABC13 station, located at 3310 Bissonnet St., Houston.

From ABC13