NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — NFL players with local ties brought smiles — and hot meals — to kids at a Newport News apartment complex on Thursday.
Virginia Beach native and Kansas City Chiefs Defensive Tackle Derrick Nnadi and Chicago Bears Offensive Lineman Rashaad Coward who attended Old Dominion University joined the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank to provide food to children in need.
The event highlighted the Foodbank’s Summer Food Service Program, which helps distribute food to kids during the summer who would normally be fed free meals at school.
It also helped to kickoff the annual Hampton Roads Youth Foundation football camp, led by Hampton native and Pittsburgh Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin. The camp takes place Saturday.
“In my eyes, I just want to do anything to help them out because I don’t want them anything near what I went through,” said Nnadi, reflecting on why he wanted to give back to his local community.
Coaches and football players from Ocean Lakes High School, where Nnadi is an alum, also helped to hand out the food and make the day special.
“A couple of kids on our team, like me myself, growing up, I didn’t have all the other things other kids had, so hopefully I can relate to some of the kids here today,” said Carlos Smith, a junior at Ocean Lakes.
The group was welcomed with screams of excitement from the kids as they entered the recreation building at the Newport Harbour Apartments.
They joined the kids for some pre-lunch dancing, and then served them their individual plates of flood before offering words of advice and encouragement.
“The world is yours,” said Nnadi.