CANTON, Ohio – When David Baker learned about Project Isaiah and his goal of feeding families in need during the coronavirus pandemic, there was no question what the Professional American Football Hall of Fame would do.
“Once we learned the details behind Project Isaiah, it was an easy decision to say ‘yes’ with enthusiasm and to join as partners, ” said Baker, the Hall’s President and CEO. The mission, values and vision at heart Project Isaiah and Gate Gourmet line up wonderfully with those in the Professional American Football Hall of Fame. ”RELATED
Immediately, some Hall participants got involved, led by catcher Cris Carter, who grew up often starving in Dayton, Ohio, with six siblings and one of their parents.
“I needed food when there was no pandemic,” said Carter, who played 15 NFL seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles, Minnesota Vikings and Miami Dolphins. “This would have destroyed my family.”
Carter acknowledged that having Hall of Fame members – also known as de gold jackets ’- assisting the airline catering company Gate Gourmet in a food relief program was a natural fit.
“We are going to try to raise some resources for these people and create some awareness,” said Carter, who asked other Gold Jackets to donate at least $ 100 to the cause.
“Being a Hall of Fame is about being a leader on and off the field,” he said. “Our commitment, our values, our integrity, the value we had to play at the highest level, we are simply trying to show that to people who at this moment only need others to believe in them. We are just Gold Jackets trying to do good things. ”Others in the Hall of Fame who got involved include Dave Casper, Larry Little, Fran Tarkenton and Rickey Jackson.
Launched in April, Project Isaiah has provided more than a million boxed meals to families in 11 cities: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Washington. All of them are also NFL cities.
“These are difficult times,” said Casper, who lives in South Florida. I am 68 years old and at the age when people with the virus are most at risk. I’m not a public guy, but in times like these, I wanted to do something.
“When the Hall of Fame does something like this, it makes a bigger difference than I could individually do.”
Project Isaiah started as a Go Fund Me initiative. Gate Gourmet, a leading airline food provider, prepares meals, which cost about $ 5 per box. The project works with charities, ministries, community organizations, and sometimes municipalities.
In Miami, for example, the organization works with Amigos for Kids; Community Coalition, Inc .; Southwest Social Services Programs; YWCA Colonel Zubkoff Early Education Center; YWCA Marta Sutton Weekly Women’s Center and YWCA Intergenerational Center.
In Detroit, the city health department delivered meals directly to COVID-19 patients with public assistance. The city feared that neighborhood canteens would allow COVID-19 to spread.
“During a crisis, problems must be solved in parallel, ” said Michael Klein, President of Project Isaiah and the person who introduced him to Baker.” Through a unique partnership with Gate Gourmet and the dedicated work of hundreds of Volunteers in our communities, as well as those who lead this effort, we are reaching the people who need it the most as quickly as possible. ”The Isaias Project is being led by volunteer Devon Spurgeon from her home in Chicago, Spurgeon notes that the Name comes from Klein’s affinity for passages from the Book of Isaiah.
As of April, Project Isaiah had provided at least 40,000 meals in each of its 11 cities, with 200,000 meals in New York alone.
“We had a shelter from domestic violence that, when our meals came, made all the kids pretend they were on a plane, ‘said Spurgeon.” There was total excitement about getting plane food. We had a wonderful sense of something about what I have never paid much attention to it in my life. “I will never look at an airplane meal the same way.”