HENDERSON, Nev. – The Las Vegas Raiders once again provided Thanksgiving meals to Southern Nevada residents in need of food assistance. Yesterday, in advance of the Thanksgiving holiday, the Raiders offensive line assisted with distributing 600 meal boxes that included turkeys, complete fixings and fresh vegetables during a drive-through event at Allegiant Stadium that was facilitated by Three Square Food Bank.
In addition to handing off meal boxes, Raiders players Alex Bars, Sebastian Gutierrez, Andre James, Kolton Miller, Thayer Munford Jr., Brandon Parker and John Simpson also engaged with the participating families, taking photos, signing autographs and wishing a Happy Thanksgiving and Holiday season.
This marked the ninth straight year that the members of the Raiders offensive line have assisted food-insecure families, beginning in Oakland and now in Las Vegas, in an activity they tab as "Turkey time with the O-line." Raiders Alumni Roy Hart, Teyo Johnson, Marshawn Lynch, Rod Martin and Mike Siani also were on hand to lend their support to the community event that took place in the Allegiant Stadium parking lot.
"It's so cool to see the O-line come together and give back to the Las Vegas community," said tackle Kolton Miller, who is the longest tenured offensive lineman on the Raiders roster along with Parker. "We are honored to be able to extend this tradition to the residents of Las Vegas. It's a blessing and this is what Thanksgiving is all about."
Three Square is Southern Nevada's only food bank and largest hunger relief organization serving Clark, Lincoln, Esmeralda and Nye Counties. More than 341,000 Southern Nevadans, or one in seven, struggle with hunger, including more than 130,000 children, or one in four. Since opening in 2007, Three Square has provided over 528 million pounds of food to community members in need.
The Las Vegas Raiders and Three Square Food Bank distributed 600 Thanksgiving meals donated by the Raiders offensive line to food-insecure Southern Nevada families.
"While the holiday season is meant to be a joyous occasion, those who are food-insecure might find it hard to cope during this time of year," said Three Square Interim President and CEO Michelle Beck. "But thanks to the incredible generosity of the Raiders and its offensive line, valley residents struggling with hunger can rest a little easier knowing there is help out there for those who need it."
In addition to the Raiders offensive line unit's generous donation, Quaker donated product for the 600 Thanksgiving meal boxes that were assembled by Raiders and ASM staff during two packing events which took place last Friday and this Monday at Three Square Food Bank headquarters.
"Quaker believes that the circumstances of life should never be a barrier to good nutrition," said Kristin Kroepfl, vice president and chief marketing officer for Quaker Foods North America at PepsiCo. "Helping individuals and families in need gain access to warm and nutritious foods is at the heart of what we do, which is why Quaker is donating food items to Three Square to help tackle hunger and advance food security."
In partnership with Quaker, Las Vegas Raiders and Allegiant Stadium staff members packed food at Three Square Food Bank to be handed out at Allegiant Stadium to families in need.
Other members of the Raiders organization supported the community during Thanksgiving. On Tuesday, Maxx Crosby distributed gift cards to 100 students at Griffith Elementary School in Las Vegas to help their families purchase Thanksgiving meals. Later that day, Tashawn Bower and Nate Hobbs donated and distributed Thanksgiving meals to families during an event at Pearson Community Center in Las Vegas.
On Tuesday evening, Raiders Sr. Vice President, Chief Strategy Officer Marcel Reece delivered food baskets containing ingredients for a traditional Thanksgiving feast to 100 deserving families on behalf of the Las Vegas Raiders and the Marcel Reece Foundation during an event at Valley View Community Cares in North Las Vegas. Reece also took time to speak to children at the event about the importance of not giving up, both in life and on themselves.
The Raiderettes teamed up with Smith's to produce Thanksgiving meals that squad members will hand out Thursday morning to the less fortunate in downtown Las Vegas and will also distribute toiletries, blankets and clothes that were collected during a donation drive. "It doesn't matter what walk of life anyone comes from, Thanksgiving is one day we work to make it about the community," said Raiderette Lisa, one of the squad members organizing the event. "Serve everyone with a smile and make them feel like family."
The Raiders conducted similar activities for the past three years, assembling Thanksgiving food boxes to Southern Nevada families in need and coordinating with Three Square for distribution to Las Vegas area families during a drive-through distribution activity at Allegiant Stadium.
Last year, Alumni including Roy Hart, Pro Football Hall of Famer Rod Woodson and Raiderettes assisted with the distribution during a similar drive-through event at Allegiant Stadium and the Raiders offensive line and coaches made financial donations that provided over 28,000 meals to Southern Nevada families throughout the holiday season.
View photos as Las Vegas Raiders senior vice president and chief strategy officer Marcel Reece and his family donated Thanksgiving meal baskets to members of the community at Valley View Community Cares.