LANDOVER – The season of giving has reached Prince George’s County and the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation’s made a hefty donation of turkey baskets to families who could not afford to celebrate Thanksgiving. On Nov. 21, the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation presented this year’s 13th annual harvest feast by Ryan Homes located at FedExField. The […]
LANDOVER – The season of giving has reached Prince George’s County and the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation’s made a hefty donation of turkey baskets to families who could not afford to celebrate Thanksgiving.
On Nov. 21, the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation presented this year’s 13th annual harvest feast by Ryan Homes located at FedExField. The foundation and its partners fed 2,500 residents in Prince George’s County who are in need. The Prince George’s County Department of Social Services (PGCDSS) determined eligibility for participation in the Harvest Feast food distribution program.
Bruce Allen, president of the Redskins, thanked all parties for their partnership and support.
“We couldn’t have done this without our valuable sponsors and teammates,” Allen said.
Allen said the numerous turkeys and dry food given out over the last 13 years are thanks to Ryan Homes, their present partners, Shoppers Food and Pharmacy, the Bob Gleeson Operation, and Gloria Brown from social services.
The foundation with Redskins staff, players and alumni joined more than 500 volunteers to assemble and distribute Thanksgiving food baskets, including 2,500 whole turkeys provided by Shoppers.
“When I became president of this company, I wanted to increase community involvement and when you look at this area there’s a lot of people who are less privileged that need help,” said Shoppers’ CEO Bob Gleeson. “The need is there. We see it in our stores everyday. But in addition to that we wanted to give above and beyond. This is our biggest event this holiday season and it’s an extra bonus to be associated with such a great franchise.”
Since 2003, the Redskins have gifted more than a million pounds of packaged and fresh food and 460,500 pounds of turkey to area families in need. At this year’s Harvest Feast, the Redskins gifted 92,575 pounds of packaged and fresh food and 30,000 pounds of turkey.
“This is always an exciting time of the year. It is really hard to put something like this together and help people that actually deserve it,” said Bill Horan, president of Operation Blessing. “We love the Redskins and we love the people up here and we don’t get a chance to really touch the public all that often.”
Operation Blessing distributes about two million pounds of food every week to soup kitchens, shelters, ministries and faith-based organizations of all denominations in the United States.
“There is a lot of newly-made poor in America and we feed the people. At events like this, we get to actually see the recipients,” Horan said. “The Redskins are great partners and they never go against what they say. Everything went smoothly.”
At 10:45 a.m. FedExField volunteers also delivered meal preparations to two locations for those who are unable to pick up directly from the event. Between 1 and 3 p.m., Redskins alumni and players attended the event to help distribute the food baskets.
Saturday was a special day for Washington Redskins alumni Ricky Ervins. This year is Ervins’ second year helping out at the harvest feast and he said there’s no greater feeling than giving back to those who need it.
“This is what Thanksgiving is all about. It’s about helping folks,” Ervins said. “I love to give and not to just receive because doing this makes me feel so much better. This year it is even more turkeys, but this is what being a human being is all about. We are fortunate to go out there and give back, but you also feel better about yourself at the end of the day.”