SALEM, Va. – The Hokies are helping those in need through the Touchdowns for Turkeys campaign.
Kroger Mid-Atlantic donated ten turkeys for every touchdown scored during VT’s football season. Virginia Tech finished the season with 27 touchdowns, which added up to 270 turkeys.
Kroger leaders thought they would send the “game” into overtime and donate an extra 230 turkeys, bringing the total to 500.
James Menes, Corporate Affairs Manager for Kroger Mid-Atlantic, said each turkey was paired up with an entire meal kit.
“So we donated food for 500 meal kits, wanted to pair those up with 500 turkeys. There’s a lot of need in the community and we wanted to help the food bank meet that need,” Menes said.
While Touchdowns for Turkeys is mostly about what is done on the field, it’s also about the time players volunteer off of it.
“They’re busy. They have a lot going on, so it really speaks volumes about them as people that they give their time and energy to spend their time at the food bank to volunteer. It’s really impressive and we’re really appreciative,” Menes said.
On Giving Tuesday, several Hokie players joined the Feeding Southwest Virginia team to box up all the donations they were able to raise throughout the season.
Among the players was Linebacker Matt Johnson.
“Honestly, it’s just a blessing to be here and a blessing to serve other people who you know are in need, who you know have experienced some of the issues you experienced growing up in some ways,” Johnson said.
Feeding Southwest Virginia serves over 100,000 people every month. With the holiday season in full swing, donations are needed most.
Many of the counties the food bank serves are well over the state average for food insecurity.
Johnson understands the privileges he has as an athlete but wanted to do his part in giving back.
“Being an athlete at Virginia Tech, a lot of your food is provided for you. So you don’t have to always worry about going out and getting stuff. Knowing that other people are underprivileged, and they don’t have the same opportunities that you do … you want to give back, you want to take part in that opportunity,” Johnson said.
Attention will turn to next season where the hope is to score more touchdowns and feed more people.