You may have seen photos of endless lines. You may have heard the story of hours of waiting time. Food banks have never been so flooded nationally, and demand is only increasing.
They need help. Many. Fortunately, athletes here know that.
The new corona virus has wreaked havoc on both physical and economic life. It makes people afraid, there are people who mourn, there are people who are in a state of eternal uncertainty.
But that has also given birth to kindness and generosity in a way that reminds us that most people are good.
On March 17, Seahawks midfielder Russell Wilson and Ciara, his wife, announced on Instagram they gift one million meals ($ 200,000 worth) to Food Lifeline, a chapter on Feeding America that serves as the main provider for more than 300 food banks in western Washington.
The following day, former NBA guard and Rainier Beach star Jamal Crawford presented 125,000 meals to the Food Lifeline. Former Washington security officer Taylor Rapp, who is now with Rams, joined a donation of $ 6,250. And a day later, former Seahawks midfielder Lofa Tatupu donated $ 5,100 (his jersey number was 51), totaling 20,500 meals.
I reached out to Crawford to ask what inspired him to give. The easiest question he ever got.
“Being human,” said Crawford, who praised his wife, Tori, for helping him find other places to contribute as well, such as the Rotary Boys & Girls Club and World Vision. “You follow this so much, read the newspaper, see what is happening in the world, and are very sad on many levels. Obviously you cannot save the world, but you can help and hopefully inspire others to do the same. “
Rapp felt the same way.
“Many people are affected by this pandemic, especially low-income households. Many children and families cannot get food, “said Rapp, who also donates to Meals on Wheels. “I see this as an opportunity to help and hopefully get people together.”
Seattle Storm also contributes to the Food Lifeline. By selling merchandise such as T-shirts and hoodies, the WNBA team collected nearly $ 18,000 on Friday.
That doesn’t only happen in Seattle, too. Tom Brady, Steph Curry, Ronda Rousey, Cal Ripken, Laila Ali, and JJ Watt are some of those who have contributed to feed America at some point during this crisis.
Unfortunately, the problem is far from being solved.
Chris Nishiwaki, director of marketing and communications for Food Lifeline, anticipates that around 2 million Washington residents will need food assistance by the end of this month. He said $ 120 million had to be raised to feed starving people in our country, and that money was getting harder and harder to get.
For various reasons, food donations fell by around 70 percent. Grocery stores have less to give because they sell. People have less money to give because they lose their jobs. Volunteers are rare because of distancing social guidelines. And every day food demand surges.
Long lines for food banks in certain regions are not new. That usually happens after natural disasters such as storms or earthquakes.
But it was a regional disaster that asked for support from food banks throughout the country. Coronavirus, on the other hand, affects almost every region.
Zuani Villarreal is director of communications for Feeding America, and he is very grateful for the support of athletes throughout the country. Not only do they open their wallets, they also raise awareness and inspire others to do the same. But he wants everyone to know there is more – more – to do.
“What the food bank faces is a series of circumstances that we have never faced before,” Villarreal said. “We have reached a point where we have to change people (who need food).”
To donate to Food Lifeline, go to foodlifeline.org or call 206-545-6600. For Feeding America, go to feedingamerica.org.
Athletes generally make their mark by improving in critical situations. This is a time where we can all do the same thing.