Thanksgiving with the Food Bank

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Browns volunteers team up with Vitamix to package meals at Greater Cleveland Food Bank

The teamwork helped generate 10,000 nutritious meals to local families in need

To continue the Browns' annual tradition of volunteering at the Greater Cleveland Food Bank around Thanksgiving, Browns staff and alumni players packed boxes of food to be distributed to local families in need. Vitamix contributed $2,500 to support the Food Bank's efforts, providing 10,000 nutritious meals.

The Greater Cleveland Food Bank has seen plenty of activity from Cleveland Browns and Vitamix staff volunteers in the days leading up to Thanksgiving.

Volunteers, including some Browns alumni, teamed up Monday and Tuesday to pack food boxes to be distributed to local families in need. All involved wore masks and gloves and maintained a safe 6 feet of social distancing to ensure the annual tradition between the Browns and Vitamix would continue through the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In addition to packaging the meals together, Vitamix contributed $2,500 to support the GCFB's efforts. In total, 10,000 nutritious meals were made and delivered to families in need.

"As challenging as this year has been, we're very happy that we've been able to maintain our extensive community ties," said Scott Tennant, Director of Communications for Vitamix. "Not only for our partnership with the Browns, which we value to extremes, but also the fact that we're able to support the Cleveland Food Bank, which is just a wonderful Cleveland institution. Despite all the challenges, that's been something we've been able to maintain, and I'll tell you, that feels good for an organization like Vitamix that is so tied to the community."

This event is an annual Thanksgiving tradition for the Browns, who had staff members from all across the organization volunteer. Dee Haslam was among them, as the group put together 1,728 bags of food for the BackPack for Kids program Monday and followed Tuesday by compiling 440 boxes of food for families across the area.

The Greater Cleveland Food Bank, a community partner of Browns Give Back's First and Ten movement, is the largest hunger relief organization in Northeast Ohio, helping make more than 50 million meals in 2019 available to more than 350,000 hungry people in Cuyahoga, Ashtabula, Geauga, Lake, Ashland and Richland counties. The Greater Cleveland Food Bank's mission is to ensure that everyone in the community has the nutritious food needed every day through both food distribution and SNAP outreach efforts.

Every dollar toward the Food Bank is equivalent to four meals for those less fortunate. The Browns and Vitamix made sure to keep those meals flowing throughout Thanksgiving, and even though the environment in GCFB was different than previous years due to the pandemic, all volunteers still found a way to get the charitable job done.

"This is the next best thing, and we still get to support the Cleveland Food Bank with a monetary donation this year," Tennant said. "So we're real excited that we're in the position to do it."

You can make a difference like these youth by joining our Browns First and Ten movement! This initiative was designed to inspire fans across the city to give back 10 hours in the community during the year. Since the beginning of the Browns' First and Ten movement in 2014, more than 2.75 million volunteer hours have been pledged. If you want to help give back to your community, take the First and Ten pledge here.

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