The offseason may be underway for the Kansas City Chiefs, but their commitment to the community is still in full swing.
Staff members at One Arrowhead Drive – alongside Chiefs Ambassadors, Cheerleaders and Red Coaters – demonstrated that commitment on Tuesday afternoon, volunteering their time at Harvesters – The Community Food Network to pack thousands of "BackSnacks" for local kids in need as part of the "Souper Bowl of Caring" campaign.
"This marks the 10th consecutive year that the Chiefs are serving as a national sponsor of the Souper Bowl of Caring movement," said Dan Crumb, Chiefs CFO and Chairman of the Board at Harvesters. "Each year, the organization has partnered with Harvesters for a service activity, and that has helped us deliver around 24,000 BackSnacks to the community."
A national effort, the Souper Bowl of Caring strives to help those in need in the weeks leading up to Super Bowl.
"Almost thirty years ago, a pastor in South Carolina said a prayer. It went, 'Even as we enjoy the Super Bowl today, let us be mindful of those that don't have a bowl of soup to eat.' That started this movement," said Alison Reese, Executive Director of the Souper Bowl of Caring. "It's about using the energy of something that we've all come to see as an institution of eating and merriment and to make it about something more than just ourselves."
The Chiefs have joined that effort every year for the past decade in partnership with Harvesters, providing BackSnacks to thousands of underserved children throughout the Kansas City area.
"One in six children in our community is food insecure and may not have a meal tonight - more than 108,000 children in Harvesters' 26-county area," said Joanna Sebelien, Chief Resource Officer at Harvesters. "This is really making a difference in the lives of hungry children."
The BackSnack program began in 2004 at one school and now operates in more than 400 schools throughout the metro, serving more than 20,000 students every week.
And for these kids, it goes beyond just having something to eat.
According to Harvesters, children in the BackSnack program have shown improved grades and social skills while having fewer absences at school.
It's real change occurring right here in this community, existing as just another example of the Chiefs' commitment to serving those in need in the Kansas City area.
"This is part of our year-round involvement on hunger initiatives," Crumb said. "Just a few of our initiatives are Lift Up America with Harvesters and Tyson Foods, the Chiefs Kingdom Food Drive led by the Chiefs Women's Organization, staff and Red Coater volunteer day on the first Tuesday of every month and, as part of the organization's overall mission, the Hunt family has put an emphasis on assisting with hunger relief efforts in the Kansas City area."
It's all helped the Chiefs – in partnership with Harvesters – provide more than 1.4 million meals to those in need over the last five years.
"Many families are facing tough choices, forced to choose between paying for food, housing and heat," Sebelien said. "We know that feeding hungry children is an investment in the future health and vitality of our community. We thank you all for being a part of this effort and making a difference."
Just as this community pours its heart and soul into their football team, the Chiefs again sought to return the favor on Tuesday.
The Kansas City Chiefs Community Caring Team participated with Harvesters in the 10th annual "Souper Bowl of Caring", an event to pack back pack snacks for the food insecure in the local KC Area.