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Marriott's Tamalathon Helps Fight Hunger In San Antonio

Making tamales is a time-honored tradition in the Alamo City, but another tradition on its way to becoming just as meaningful: the Marriott Hotel's Tamalathon.

Employees and other volunteers gather each holiday season to spread, stuff and roll tamales which will be sold by the thousands. All the proceeds benefit the San Antonio Food Bank.

"You don't have to write it [the check] to us at all, that's where the money's going,” said the Marriott’s Dusty Smith, who oversees the Tamalathon.

This year’s tamale-making goal is 1,300 dozen, or 15,600 tamales. They go on sale Tuesday and will be available at select Marriott locations, including the Residence Inn Marriott located at 425 Bonham; Tamales are $10 per dozen.

Employees like Delia Enriquez say the Tamalathon is a throwback to memories of making tamales with her mother and family "because we're all here together, and that's the way it was with my mom."

Smith agrees that there is no better place to hold a Tamalathon than San Antonio, especially when so many people eat them on Christmas.

"We're in Tamale Town, USA,” he said.

Eric Cooper, president of the San Antonio Food Bank, said Christmas is the greates demand on the Food Bank. He said that anything helps, and he is especially grateful for the support of the Marriott's Tamalathon each year.

"They make it a lot of fun. They get all their employees involved, and they raise a lot of funds to help us at the San Antonio Food Bank," said Cooper.

Ryan Loyd was Texas Public Radio's city beat and political reporter. He left the organization in December, 2014.