Football Players Tackle Hunger|
July 25, 2014
The kitchen of the Los Angeles Mission was alive with sounds of laughter and conversation as members of the Trojan football team donned red aprons to prepare a meal for homeless men and women.
Trojans took time from their pre-season work load to visit the Mission, a shelter and service center in Downtown LA's Skid Row. Organized by senior quarterback Anthony Neyer, the event allowed volunteers to prepare and serve a meal for nearly 1,000 guests.
Upon arrival, the team went to work preparing a hearty lunch of barbeque pork, baked beans and coleslaw with a health conscious option of brown rice, chicken and vegetable stir fry. Neyer cooked alongside teammates Randall Telfer, Alex Wood, Chad Wheeler, Christian Guzman, and Nick Schlossberg as well as Trojan and NFL alum Patrick Turner.
The first of three lunch crowds arrived promptly at 11:30 AM and tasks rapidly changed from meal preparation to service. The dining room quickly filled with chatter as shelter residents broke bread together on table cloths of cardinal and gold garnished with USC balloons.
Once the initial crowd had cleared, a temporary lull in activity allowed the volunteers to share their meal with shelter staff who told stories of hard pasts and future hope.
"It doesn't have to be at the Los Angeles Mission or in El Salvador. We have the opportunity to impact lives every day in our daily routines. Taking time to engage with the people we see every day provides the same opportunity to impact lives as a day at the Mission," said Neyer.
With more than 53,000 homeless in Los Angeles County, the Los Angeles Mission opens its doors 365 days a year. Founded in 1936, the Mission is a non-profit, privately supported organization that serves the immediate and long-term needs of disadvantaged men, women, and children. At 1,500 meals per day, the Mission is among the nation's largest service providers for the homeless.