Sunday, in collaboration with the Greater Cleveland Food Bank, the Browns hosted the annual First and Ten Food Drive at FirstEnergy Stadium. During the past five years, more than 120,000 meals have been made available to Northeast Ohio families by Browns fans through the food drive. Nearly 40 Browns fans volunteered through the Food Bank to collect food and funds to be distributed across six counties this season. Overall through the gate collections on game day, the food bank will be able to provide 16,500 meals due to more than $3,500 and approximately 3,000 pounds raised.
This year Browns staff joined in on the action by contributing more than 2,000 items through an internal competition. All staff members from various departments were divided up into teams to compete to see who could fill their shopping cart the fastest. With pseudo captains of Browns Alumni including Clay Matthews, Lou Groza, Otto Graham and Bernie Kosar, the teams fought to the finish all with one common goal of helping those in need. Each item counted toward the overall goal as individuals purchased items and brought in super six items like: tuna, peanut butter, cereal, soup, vegetables and beef stew.
Then just days later, numerous Browns players, alumni, staff and the Browns Women Organization also had an opportunity to #give10 at the Greater Cleveland Food Bank by preparing Thanksgiving meals and packaging food items to be sent to local shelters, food pantries and food sites throughout Northeast Ohio. The gathering is one of many jointly hosted events by the Browns and Greater Cleveland Food Bank, a community partner of the First and Ten movement, as the groups help fight hunger and ensure families have access to nutritious meals throughout the year, particularly during high times of need like the winter holidays.
Each year, the Browns and Greater Cleveland Food Bank also come together to put on Taste of the Browns, an event featuring Cleveland's top chefs that raises money and awareness to combat hunger in the local community. In September, the 19th Annual Taste of the Browns was co-chaired by OL Joe Thomas and alumni WR Josh Cribbs and raised enough money to provide nearly 1,000,000 meals to those in need in the Greater Cleveland community.
Through Browns Give Back, the Cleveland Browns are dedicated to #give10 through the team's First and Ten initiative. Launched in June 2014, the Cleveland Browns First and Ten campaign is the team's community program, established to inspire fans to volunteer in and help their communities throughout the world by volunteering for 10 hours each year. Through First and Ten, the Browns are the only NFL club to promote a long-term volunteering program that unifies the team and its entire fan base, with the goal of impacting every individual's city across the globe, as well as the franchise's local community. All Browns fans are encouraged to join the volunteering effort by signing the First and Ten pledge on the team's website and by sharing their stories with #give10. For more information or to sign the pledge, visit www.clevelandbrowns.com/community
About Greater Cleveland Food Bank:
The Greater Cleveland Food Bank, a community partner of the Cleveland Browns First and Ten program, has a mission to ensure that everyone in the community has the nutritious food they need on a daily basis. The Greater Cleveland Food Bank is the largest hunger-relief organization in Northeast Ohio, supplying more than 55 million meals in 2015 to individuals in Ashland, Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake and Richland counties throughout the year. A $1 donation to the Greater Cleveland Food Bank is enough to provide four nutritious meals to Northeast Ohioans in need. For more information on how to help, go to www.clevelandfoodbank.org.