Feb. 6, 2003

Columbus, OH – Members of the national champion Ohio State football team are spending several evenings in February and March volunteering at Mid-Ohio FoodBank. Each month they’ll be packing 80,000 pounds of food for senior citizens. No fans will cheer. No refs will be on the field. But their efforts will make them heroes for thousands of needy senior citizens.

With 2350 senior food boxes to make every month, Mid-Ohio FoodBank needs volunteers. The Buckeyes are always looking for ways to help out in the community and the Foodbank was fortunate enough to have a game plan.

The Buckeyes, in groups of twenty-five, will be working to complete the boxes in time for the monthly distribution to needy seniors who have qualified for the program. The “care packages” are a huge help to seniors who sometimes have to choose between food and medicine.

The Ohio State coaches and their wives will all be carrying the ball along with the team and managers. Gilda Spencer, Mid-Ohio FoodBank Board member and wife of running backs coach Tim Spencer said, “The team is taking the time to help some of the neediest folks in our community. We’re delighted they’re willing to put their weight behind this project.”

Team members work their volunteer activity into schedules between sessions in the weight room. The 35 pound boxes players will be passing down the line are no challenge for these champions compared to the rigorous weight training many are involved in during the off season.

Matt Habash, Executive Director of the Foodbank was at the Fiesta Bowl. “Well, the game here tonight is less exciting than the game in Tempe,” he said, “but to the folks who will use this food, it’s just as important.”

Mid-Ohio FoodBank is a private, not-for-profit organization dedicated to feeding hungry people. The Foodbank supplies a network of over 500 food pantries, soup kitchens, emergency shelters, senior dining centers, day care and after-school enrichment programs in 20 Ohio counties. Food comes from food industry donations, community food drives, and State and Federal food purchase programs. Mid-Ohio FoodBank is a member of America’s Second Harvest, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization. Since 1980, the Foodbank has provided more than 278 million pounds of food and other grocery products for hungry people in our community.