Chiefs' Visit to the KC Community Gardens Takes Center Stage

Current center Eric Kush teamed with former center Tim Grunhard to help families on Monday

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Tim Grunhard and Eric Kush never got to play on the field together, but given the fact they share the same position, that's probably a good thing.

On Monday afternoon, the two shared more than just a position, but an opportunity to give back to their local community at Gladstone Elementary in Kansas CIty.

"The Chiefs came out and we harvested our spring garden," schoolyard gardens coordinator Mary Anna Henggeler said. "We harvested lettuce, spinach, onions and radishes. They're all fast-growing crops, so they did a great job harvesting that."

After gathering the vegetables with children ranging from kindergarten to second grade, Grunhard and Kush continued to help, teaming to plant the students' summer garden—one filled with tomatoes, peppers, squash and cucumbers.

The mission of Kansas City Community Gardens (KCCG) is to assist low-income households and community groups in the Kansas City metropolitan area to produce vegetables and fruit from garden plots located in backyards, vacant lots, and at community sites.

KCCG supports Kansas City's gardeners as they work to transform the food system, along with their nutritional habits, in backyard and community garden spaces throughout the metropolitan area.

Of the more than 180 schools that KCCG works with, Gladstone Elementary was among the best at taking care of its garden, so it received the reward in a visit from the Chiefs.

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"I think what our goal is eventually one garden per one school and this school is one of the prototypes for the public schools here in Kansas City," Grunhard said. "These kids are great. Boy, they were respectful, they understood what they were doing, they understood the whole process and to be brutally honest with you, I learned something from these kids."

Grunhard laughed.

"I'm going to go home and see if I can straighten some of my tomatoes out by looking at what they did."

Kush, who expressed how much fun he had in helping the kids, was glad he could partner with Grunhard, a former center himself, for the event.

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"It's awesome to see and talk and still hang out with the guys who have done this before us," he said. "We stand on the backs of the guys who have done it before us, so it's awesome to see them and keep going and talk to him about how things were back in the day and get some advice off these guys."

Grunhard, who said he remembered getting mentored when he first began in the league, shared Kush's feelings.

"It's a fraternity and it's always fun to get back with the guys," Grunhard said of the O-line camaraderie. "We understand what they're going through."

All the while, the two did some good for the community.

"Gardening is really cool and really fun, but when the Chiefs do it with the kids, it's even more fun," Henggeler said. "It just shows the kids that their hard work has really paid off and they get a reward for it, which is really great.

"It has also lets the rest of the city know what awesome things our school are doing."

The Chiefs Community Caring Team, led by Eric Kush and Chiefs Ambassador Tim Grunhard, visit the community garden at Gladstone Elementary.

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