The holiday season is a time of celebration for families throughout Chiefs Kingdom, but for many, it's defined by hardship, tough decisions and hunger.
More than 323,000 individuals are food-insecure in our immediate region alone, making up nearly 13 percent of the local population. It's an unfortunate reality that affects thousands right here in Kansas City on a daily basis, and once again, the Chiefs are teaming up with Harvesters – The Community Food Network, Hy-Vee and CommunityAmerica Credit Union to make it a thing of the past through the Chiefs Kingdom Food Drive.
"Our goal is to tackle food insecurity in our community," said Dan Crumb, Chiefs' Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer. "Many of us take for granted that we know where our next meal is coming from, while many in our community are not as fortunate. Especially as we approach the holidays, it's important that we're not only thankful for what we have, but that we also identify hunger relief efforts for our neighbors."
The Chiefs Kingdom Food Drive – one of the largest food-relief initiatives in the National Football League – provided more than 234,000 meals to thousands of families throughout Harvesters' 26-county service area last year, creating real change for those in need while setting an example for what the annual event can achieve.
"This is an enormously important event. This kind of support shows our community how strongly the Chiefs feel about easing food insecurity in our region," said Phil Witt, a member of the Harvesters' Board of Directors. "This is the time of year when we count our blessings, and Harvesters is blessed to have the support of the Kansas City Chiefs, Hy-Vee and CommunityAmerica Credit Union."
The drive, which kicked off last month, will run through Dec. 6 and offers numerous ways to get involved:
1. Donate non-perishable food items at a Kansas City area Hy-Vee store.
2. Participate virtually by visiting www.harvesters.org/chiefskingdom.
3. Bring non-perishable food items to Harvesters' warehouse located at 3801 Topping Ave. in Kansas City, Mo.
Fans attending the Chiefs' upcoming matchup against the Denver Broncos can also participate on game day by scanning the QR code displayed by volunteers outside of stadium gates in order to make a monetary donation. No boxed or canned food items will be collected at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium.
The folks at CommunityAmerica Credit Union and Hy-Vee each provided $10,000 in support – equaling 1,000 holiday boxes – to kick off the event on Tuesday, while Honeysuckle also made a generous contribution by donating 1,600 turkeys.
It's all a tremendous example of what this community can achieve together for those facing the most difficult of times. The holiday season can be overwhelmingly challenging for thousands of families right here in our area, and through the Chiefs Kingdom Food Drive, we can change that.
"Our mission is to feed hungry people today and to end hunger tomorrow," Witt said. "We envision a time when everyone in our community will have access to enough nutritious food to live a healthy life."
To learn more, visit www.harvesters.org/chiefskingdom.