|LB Jerrell Harris distributes food at Laurel Elementary. Photo by Tony Gonzales|
Recently, T Khalif Barnes, DE Matt Shaughnessy, and LB Jerrell Harris helped distribute food at a mobile food pantry, facilitated by the Alameda County Community Food Bank (ACCFB), at Laurel Elementary School in West Oakland. "The mobile pantry that we're doing today at Laurel Elementary is part of the Alameda County Community Food Bank's initiative to make sure no child in Alameda County is going hungry," explained ACCFB's Communications Manager Michael Altfest. "Mobile pantries are basically designed to bring healthy nutritious food to neighborhoods that might not otherwise be served by us."
The three Raiders players were on hand to help the local families gather several weeks of food. "The great thing about this mobile pantry is it comes straight to a school where there are a number of children, a number of families, that rely on free and reduced priced meals," said Altfest. "The great thing is they line up and they get to kind of shop basically for the foods that they need and that they can use most based off of household size, based off their own preferences and own eating habits, so they have their cupboards full for a couple weeks at a time."
Barnes wanted to give back during the holiday season. "Just coming out and just trying to do something good for the community and hand out some good food and try to spread some joy around this holiday season," said Barnes. We're just trying to make a difference."
|T Khalif Barnes hands food to an ACCFB client. Photo by Tony Gonzales|
The veteran offensive lineman also wanted to set a good example. "I believe it's important because whether you want to or not, in somebody's eyes, we're all role models, so it's very important because we're looked up to as being heroes of some sort in the community," said Barnes. "It feels good. You should be able to want to do this and it's important that we all do this."
Harris was excited to meet some Raiders fans, while also giving back to the local community. "I think it's real big for us to interact with the community and just get to know the fans and let people see us outside of football and on TV and help out whenever we can," said Harris.
The families were excited to see the players helping out at the school. "You can see by all the Raiders shirts and autograph seekers that it's a big deal for htem," said Altfest. "It's not every day that a bunch of stars show up at their school. It's just a regular school day. To have them here, ti's a big morale booster. It's great to know that their favorite athletes are not just people that are out playing a game on the field, but they're actually out here and really care about the community and want to help."
The Raiders, in conjunction with ACCFB, will be hosting a virtual food drive to encourage fans to donate money for supplies through the end of January 2013: https://www.vfd-accfb.org/grouphome.aspx?ID=555