March 19, 2012
COLUMBUS, Ohio - On the field, the Ohio State football team operates as a single unit. Each member knows his role and knows that to be successful each must perform at his best.
Wednesday, the Buckeyes demonstrated their teamwork in a different way and against a different opponent. Coming together to battle hunger, the squad, broken into three groups, packed boxes for the Mid-Ohio Foodbank.
Forming an assembly line, players built and taped boxes, packed food items and loaded finished boxes. Group one, which included junior defensive lineman John Simon, packed 315 boxes, while groups two and three tallied 316 and 344, respectively.
"It [packing boxes] builds team bonding and it's a nice way to help out the community," Simon said. "It's a fun thing so it's good for us. So many people look up to us, so to be able to give back for everything they give us is tremendous."
The boxes, which included household staples such as pasta, cereal and canned fruit, were part of the foodbank's supplemental food program that benefits senior citizens in need.
"It [the supplemental food program] is a government subsidized program where we package about a four or five day supply of shelf staple food to distribute to qualified senior citizens in 18 of the 20 counties we serve to help them get over that hump until their monthly stipend or government support comes in," Dave Phillips, Vice President of Operations said. "It gives these young men a chance to give back and for us to show them what we do and how important it is."
Combined, the team packed 975 boxes, nearly one-tenth of the month's quota. For the foodbank, which relies heavily on volunteer support, the team's manpower and presence was a welcome addition.
"We have over 12,000 volunteers come through each year and we have those 12,000 volunteers come through because they hear about our work and our mission," Colin Baumgartner, Marketing and Communications Director said. "They hear about that work and that mission because of great organizations like Ohio State and its football team."
For more information on the Mid-Ohio Foodbank, visit: www.midohiofoodbank.org.
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