Fourteen years ago, the Chiefs became one of the first professional sports team to help Lift Up America, a hunger-relief nonprofit organization, deliver food to the needy in Kansas City.
On Tuesday, the Chiefs continued the annual tradition, as the team’s inside linebackers –– along with the Summit Christian Academy football team –– helped load boxes of food into agency vehicles set for distribution, through the nonprofit, to those in need.
“This is part of our responsibility to this community,” team president Mark Donovan said.
More than 60 area relief organizations identified by Harvesters –– including food pantries and church ministries –– received the 30,000 pounds of protein (which was donated by Tyson Foods) the Chiefs helped deliver Tuesday in front of Arrowhead Stadium.
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“The Chiefs are always doing big things during the holidays,” inside linebacker Derrick Johnson said. “To be a part of it, to hand out different things and help put it on the trucks to get it out to people in need, it’s pretty cool.”
The event is one of the team’s ongoing community-service staples during the course of the season, along with an annual food drive and Thanksgiving food distribution event at Arrowhead. The previous two years, the Chiefs have provided an estimated 475,000 meals for those in need locally.
The third annual food drive is scheduled to take place throughout November, and fans can drop off non-perishable food donations at local Hy-Vee stores. The Chiefs provided 284,066 meals through Harvesters a year ago, setting a league-wide benchmark.
The 26th annual food distribution event will take place Nov. 26 when the Chiefs host the Buffalo Bills at Arrowhead. A year ago, the Chiefs provided nearly 1,500 area families with fresh items to cook for a holiday meal.