DL Jaye Howard Organized Defensive Line for Cross-Lines Lunch

Howard and the linemen broke a Cross-Lines record for attendance Monday afternoon

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Defensive lineman Jaye Howard was already familiar with helping out in his home state of Florida. Now he wanted to do something for his current community.

"I give back in Apoka, where I'm from, and I just wanted to start giving back in the Kansas City area," he said. "We've been blessed by God and we decided to share the blessings with the community."

A few weeks ago, with that in mind, Howard reached out to Chuck Castellano, the Chiefs director of community outreach, and Castellano directed him to Cross-Lines, a group that provides people affected by poverty with basic services and opportunities that encourage self-confidence and self-sufficiency.

They distribute 1,000 lunches a week to people of need in Kansas City, Kansas.

On Monday afternoon, Howard called upon his fellow linemen to come help serve lunch in conjunction with the Thanksgiving holiday.

Jeff Allen, Allen Bailey, Mike DeVito, Rakeem Nunez-Roches, Dontari Poe, Nick Williams and Jimmy Staten all showed up.

Kansas City Chiefs defensive lineman Jaye Howard (96) and members of the Chiefs' defensive line visited Cross-Lines to serve a Thanksgiving meal to KC residents in need.

"It's great," Howard said. "Those are my brothers. We go to war on the field and then off the field, we hang out and it was something that we had to do. God has blessed us and opened up so many doors in our life that we have to serve the blessings to everyone else."

Matt O' Malley, the director of operations and volunteers at Cross-Lines, spoke for his whole staff in saying how thrilled they were to have the Chiefs assist with lunch.

"It means a lot to us just knowing that some of the bigger names and people around here hear of us and care for those less fortunate," he said. "People come in and get free food, but when clients see the Chiefs here, it's a huge deal. People get super excited and so I'd say it's a really big deal for us.

"It's a much bigger deal for someone that slept outside last night that was freezing cold when they woke up this morning and then on top of a nice day, here you've got very famous big people in this city serving them food."

Once the Chiefs arrived and word of their presence spread around the Kansas City area, more and more people showed up to eat lunch with the Chiefs.

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"Word is spreading through Armourdale," O'Malley said. "People are calling their friends and family, telling people to come out here." 

By the event's end, 260 people ate lunch at Cross-Lines, which was the largest lunch service the group ever hosted.

"It's about family and giving," Howard added. "It was good to get my teammates out here to help support and we had a great turnout today."


Remember, you can participate in the Chiefs Kingdom Food Drive on Sunday, Nov. 29 when the Chiefs play the Buffalo Bills at Arrowhead Stadium.

If you can't make it to the game, you can also support the food drive via the virtual food drive which is found at http://www.chiefs.com/fooddrive.

There is a text-to-give donation line for fans who wish to contribute financially as well, accessible by texting 'CHIEFS' to 31996 (standard messaging rates apply).

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