Players from the Los Angeles Rams went into different parts of the Los Angeles community to give back during their sixth annual Community Blitz Days of Service.
The Los Angeles Rams partnered with the L.A. Regional Food Bank, Pepsi, and Albertsons/Vons/Pavilions to host a walk-up food distribution at Ted Watkins Park. Rams tight end Tyler Higbee attended to help give out food to the Watts community.
This is the second food distribution Higbee has participated in. The reigning Super Bowl champion desires to address food insecurity.
“I’ve been out here for seven years now, since my rookie year, I’ve always done my best to try to help give back to this community that’s helped give myself an opportunity to live great lives,” Higbee said. “Just being able to get out here and help in ways that I can, I’ll try to do my best to do that.”
Those who attended the event received nutritious items like fresh produce and shelf-stable items.
“People can come through and actually choose to determine what items fit their needs from a food standpoint,” said L.A. Regional Food Bank CEO Michael Flood. “The support we get from the whole Rams organization is phenomenal … having someone like [Higbee] here means, I think, so much for people walking through.”
Battling with food security has been an issue the Rams have been battling since they returned to Los Angeles in 2016.
“During the pandemic, we certainly saw an uptick in food insecurity and now with the inflation, we’re seeing that again and the impact that it’s having on so many,” said Rams vice president of community affairs and engagement Molly Higgins. “I was checking people in, it was their first time receiving food, so I think it’s important to be able to provide them that dignity to be able to shop and pick out what they want.”
The L.A. Rams also partnered with St. Joseph Center to have a holiday feast celebration for low-income people and families. Rams defensive back Cobie Durant, linebackers Daniel Hardy and Keir Thomas, safety Quentin Lake, wide receiver Lance McCutcheon, and defensive end Zach VanValkenburg attended to hand out meals and groceries to participants.
The holiday feast took place at the Broadway-Manchester Service Center. Attendees are associated with the St. Joseph Center housing program and have persevered through housing instability. Giving back is a holiday tradition for Hardy.
“I feel like this is an honor and it’s a responsibility to help,” Hardy said. “To be a representative for the Rams, which is such a huge organization in this community, is major to me. Win or lose, these fans show up for us every Sunday.”
The holiday feast provided participants with a variety of food including tacos, hamburgers, macaroni and cheese, and sweet potato pie. Children were able to engage in different activities, they also received a toy drive gift. Rams players also signed autographs and posed for photos.
Lake, who attended Mater Dei high school and UCLA, was happy to have an opportunity to give back to his community.
“This means a lot to me to be here. It is truly humbling to see all these people and put a smile on their face,” Lake said. “They look at us like superstars even though we are so young in the league.”