Like many areas throughout the country during recent months, daily life in Los Angeles, Ventura County and the Inland Northwest region of Washington has been disrupted to its core as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In March, people swiftly transitioned from social distancing guidelines to lockdowns that closed non-essential businesses and schools.
Many families were losing income, some were relying on free school meals for their children, and seniors with the highest risk of COVID-19 complications were isolated. As a result, thousands of residents were forced to turn to local food banks for help and support, which Rams star wide receiver Cooper Kupp was ready and eager to provide.
Kupp recently made a $21,000 donation to purchase approximately 84,000 meals for the Second Harvest Food Bank, which continues to distribute meals to struggling families in the Yakima and Richland areas, the LA Regional Food Bank serving Los Angeles residents, and Food Share Ventura County serving neighbors battling food insecurity.
"There are many societal issues that need our attention," said Kupp. "There is a movement for equality and justice. A movement for the fair treatment and humanitarian rights of our brothers and sisters, and our sons and daughters. It's a battle more than worthy of fighting for. There is also a battle to care for the people whose livelihood has been taken from them and their means of providing for their families stripped from them due to circumstances outside of their control. The common ground is the compassion for people who are hurting, and my family and I believe that it will be people helping people that will raise us to a better place and pull us through this time. "
Kupp's outreach to the food banks couldn't have been timelier because many of the donation channels were strained as a result of supply chain disruptions from COVID-19. The donations allowed the food banks to immediately purchase food and send it to partners stationed in areas with more immediate needs. Some of the funds even provided equipment to help staff and volunteers remain safe while handling the food, serving families, and working long hours on the front lines of the crisis to handle the immediate surges in demand.
"There's unimaginable need right now in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Second Harvest Inland Northwest saw families who never imagined needing a food bank," said Jason Clark, President and CEO of Second Harvest. "We saw a record numbers of kids and seniors in our lines. Cooper Kupp is truly a hometown hero. We're so honored to have earned his support for providing meals for the most vulnerable people in the Yakima and Richland areas."
For more information about the Rams' community outreach efforts, please visit www.therams.com/community.