Brown is helping the Greater Cleveland Food Bank prepare for the holiday season through volunteer work

Browns players and staff as well as members of Vitamix and Stripes United — made up of coaches and other players — gathered at the Great Cleveland Food Bank on Tuesday to pack tens of thousands of meals and food items for local shelters, food pantries and food locations throughout Northeast Ohio.

Browns rookie players, plus D’Anthony Bell and Roderick Perry II and veterans Harrison Bryant, Miller Forristall and Joel Bitonio have teamed up to help volunteers prepare for the holiday season at the Food Bank, where thousands of donated meals will be served to people in need for Thanksgiving and Weeks preceding Christmas.

“It’s great to be able to use the platform we have to spread positivity and help anyone in any way we can,” said Kicker Kid York. “It means a lot to be able to put a smile on someone’s face during this time of year. The holidays can either be great times, or they can be bad times for some people, and we try to make it great for as many people as possible.”

The Browns have partnered with the Greater Cleveland Food Bank to package and distribute food before Thanksgiving since 2006. The gathering is one of many events hosted by the Browns and Greater Cleveland Food Bank, its premiere and ten community partner, as they team up to help fight hunger and ensuring families have access to nutritious meals throughout the year, particularly during times of great need such as the winter holidays. Vitamix was the presenting partner for the event.

More than 24,000 children’s meals have been packaged and 500 turkeys have been collected for delivery and donations. Browns, Vitamix and Stripes United had more than 100 volunteers to help with the effort, which could have been expanded this year as GCFB moves to a new, larger facility that allows more storage and capacity to efficiently reach more people.

“We’re thrilled to bring out the Cleveland Browns, their staff, and players every year,” said Karen Ponza, Food Bank’s director of communications and special events. “We’re especially excited this year because we’re at our new facility this year, and it’s an opportunity to show off.

“We needed that space to be able to distribute more and more food. And the need is still there — and it’s higher than ever. And because of that need and the increase that we’ve been seeing over the last several years, we really needed this space and the new building has more volunteers, storage products and you’ll never have to turn down donations.”

As part of the day’s festivities, the Browns will make a $10,000 donation to the Great Cleveland Food Bank to serve turkeys to hundreds of families in the area over the holiday. Vitamix, the presentation partner for the Greater Cleveland Food Bank visit this year, will also present a check for $2,500, which will help provide 7,500 meals for community members.

“The thing about the Greater Cleveland Food Bank and why we love coming here every Thanksgiving is that right now, everyone is thinking about relieving hunger and providing meals to people who need them,” said Jenner Tecancic, Browns vice president of community relations. “The Food Bank is here 365 days a year serving agencies in six counties, and they will never say no. They will always help whenever they can, so whatever we can do to create awareness of the Greater Cleveland Food Bank, we want to make sure we help amplify that message.” .

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