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Washington Redskins ensure local families have Thanksgiving feast to be thankful for


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Photo by Daniel Kucin. Tanya Snyder embraces a member of the crowd Tuesday, Nov. 20, at FedEx Field.

Photo by Daniel Kucin. Tanya Snyder embraces a member of the crowd Tuesday, Nov. 20, at FedEx Field.

Published on: Thursday, November 29, 2012

By Daniel Kucin

The Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation hosted the 10th annual Harvest Feast last Tuesday at FedEx field.

On the cool fall morning, thousands of Prince George’s County residents patiently waited to receive a turkey provided by Harris Teeter and more than 110,000 pounds of packaged fresh food by the means of Operation Blessing.

Since 2003, the Redskins have provided more than 3,500 Prince George’s County families with 354,498 pounds of turkey as well as 1,053,600 pounds of perishable foods.

The harvest has been on a steady incline of food distribution since its induction, and Tanya Synder is very appreciative of that. The founder of Redskins Women of Washington believes it is important to give back to the community.

Photo by Daniel Kucin. Santa Claus spreads a little pre-Christmas cheer Tuesday, Nov. 20, at FedEx Field.

Photo by Daniel Kucin. Santa Claus spreads a little pre-Christmas cheer Tuesday, Nov. 20, at FedEx Field.

“It’s an amazing, wonderful and exciting feeling to give back on Thanksgiving and to give to people who need help,” Synder said. “We’ve had alumni and all types of volunteers from FedEx to Ryan Homes, and it’s growing strong. We also have our (WOW) members showing up and our fans, so we have had great participation. ... I’m proud to say (we distributed) 3,500 turkeys and plenty of food, so a lot of people will have a different Thanksgiving thanks to the efforts of everyone.”

With an estimated 42.6 million American families living in poverty and without food, the Redskins Harvest and Operation Blessing hope to abolish such statistics as the 13 percent of Prince George’s County residents in need of assistance and 11 percent of children who are at the risk of hunger.

It was truly a group effort with all hands on deck. More than 500 volunteers helped distribute 45,500 pounds of turkey this year.

“We are so pleased to be a partner,” said Gloria Brown, director of the Prince George’s County Department of Social Services. “This is our third year participating in this process with the many partners that are making this happen, and we are so pleased to be involved.

Photo by Daniel Kucin. Redskins and FedEx volunteers load bags of fresh perishable food onto trucks Tuesday, Nov. 20, at FedEx Field.

Photo by Daniel Kucin. Redskins and FedEx volunteers load bags of fresh perishable food onto trucks Tuesday, Nov. 20, at FedEx Field.

“There are a couple thousand families waiting to receive the blessings to be bestowed upon them. We are very pleased to be a part of this process.”

FedEx volunteers diligently helped sort and load trucks with 300 Thanksgiving meals en route to the Community of Hope AME Church and King Squares apartments with holiday joy.

Later in the afternoon, Santa Claus greeted the children and had a special surprise for them. Each child received a gift bag containing toys and treats, including Redskins Read Activity Books.

The atmosphere at FedEx Field was electric as everyone involved in this event made a difference to promote hunger awareness and lent a helping hand to those in need.  

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