NFL players score donations

Published 8:44 pm Monday, November 5, 2018

The Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore is well on its way to raising $60,000 for its #TackleHunger757 initiative.

The initiative is helping to raise funds for the Foodbank’s Backpack program. The Backpack program helps distribute non-perishable food before the weekend or holiday vacation discreetly to children whose families may not otherwise be able to afford it.

“At the end of the day, no child should go to bed hungry, particularly when they are experiencing hunger through no fault of their own,” said Chief Executive Officer Dr. Ruth Jones Nichols. “This program allows us to serve families and their children in a discreet manner and provide healthy meals over the weekend.”

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The program was only able to provide for 2,900 this year, which is 500 fewer than last year, because of a decline in donations. Despite various grants and other financial commitments, the Foodbank still needs to fill a donation gap of roughly $200,000.

NFL players and Hampton Roads natives Darryl Tapp and Don Carey donated $20,000 to support the program and help jumpstart the #TackleHunger757 campaign.

“Ensuring that children have access to nutritious food is one of the most effective ways to level the playing field for all students,” Tapp said in a release. “I appreciate the opportunity to leverage my platform alongside other NFL players, and my wife and I are excited to join the Foodbank’s effort to tackle hunger in our community.”

“Through our foundation, REECH, we are committed to helping students achieve their maximum potential, and proper nutrition is essential to their success,” Carey said in a release. “The Foodbank’s mission to eliminate hunger aligns well with our community efforts, and we are delighted to support such a worthwhile campaign.”

Along with the support from Tapp and Carey, the Foodbank challenged its board members to raise money as well. The board is working hard to raise $20,000.

The fundraising tracker on the Foodbank’s website says $46,835 has been raised as of Monday afternoon.

“We were excited to receive support from Darryl Tapp and Don Carey and their spouses,” said Nichols. “We need every individual, organization, company and neighborhood to help us sustain this program this year.”

The Backpack Program is just one service offered in the Western Tidewater area. The Foodbank also offers a mobile food pantry and soup kitchens in conjunction with local organizations.

For more information on donating or information regarding food services, visit