The Tampa Bay Buccaneers took time away from the field to prioritize community outreach during the holiday season. On Monday, the Bucs' offensive line and Publix Super Markets provided full Thanksgiving meals for families in need at the '16th Annual Turkey Time with the O-Line supported by Publix.' Tampa Bay offensive linemen Dylan Cook, Luke Goedeke, Robert Hainsey, Ryan Jensen, Nick Leverett, Shaq Mason, John Molchon, Justin Skule, Donovan Smith, Aaron Stinnie, Brandon Walton, Josh Wells, Tristan Wirfs, along with running back Rachaad White and their respective families distributed 1,000 Thanksgiving meals, made possible through $52,500 in donations from the team's offensive line, Assistant Head Coach/Run Game Coordinator Harold Goodwin and Offensive Line Coach Joe Gilbert.
"The vets put it in place where we give back to the community," left tackle Donovan Smith stated. "The offensive line in the room, they donated their money and we come together to help these families that are less fortunate…We are able to come out here, see these beautiful families, beautiful faces and give back.
"You see all different people from all walks of life coming through here including some single parents, some old, some young, a lot of groups and programs making sure they take stuff back…To be able to talk to them a little bit is a blessing."
During the event, over 75 Bucs' staff members, Bucs' Offensive Linemen, Bucs' Legends, Cheerleaders and Captain Fear, assisted with the distribution efforts to families who have been pre-selected by United Way Suncoast and local nonprofit organizations.
To start this year's event, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Foundation Social Justice Fund presented a matching grant of $51,500 to the nonprofit organization, Feeding Tampa Bay. This is the franchise's fifth consecutive year collaborating with Feeding Tampa Bay for the holiday initiative. The matching donation will be utilized through school pantries, mobile pantries and by Feeding Tampa Bay's 550-plus agency pantries to provide meals to community members in need throughout this holiday season.
On Monday, families received a full meal purchased by the Bucs' offensive line, with contributions from Publix and TECO Peoples Gas. The meals included one 12-16-pound turkey, stuffing, Betty Crocker Au Gratin Potatoes, cranberry sauce, gravy, green beans, corn, sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie, along with King's Hawaiian Rolls donated by King's Hawaiian. In addition, the families received Thanksgiving kits in reusable shopping bags. The kits featured a $35 Publix gift card, a foil pan roaster and a recipe card with energy-saving tips.
View photos of the 16th annual Turkey Time With the O-Line, supported by Publix, at Raymond James Stadium. The event provided 1,000 Thanksgiving meals to families in need.