Allen Park, Mich. – The Detroit Lions announced today that they are supporting Feeding America as part of the 2020 NFL Draft-A-Thon. The Draft-A-Thon will be featured across the live Draft coverage on ABC, ESPN, ESPN Deportes and NFL Network April 23-25 and pay tribute to healthcare workers and first responders in a variety of ways – including raising funds for the work being done to combat the impact of COVID-19. A portion of funds raised through the Draft-A-Thon will directly support Feeding America's network of local foodbanks within the state of Michigan.
With the support of Owner and Chairman Martha Firestone Ford and her family, the Lions are contributing $500,000 to Feeding America. In addition, Lions President Rod Wood, Executive Vice President and General Manager Bob Quinn and Head Coach Matt Patricia announced that they each plan to contribute $1,000 per draft pick.
STATEMENT FROM THE DETROIT LIONS
"We as an organization owe a great deal of gratitude and appreciation to everybody in our community and across the nation working hard to combat these difficult circumstances. Here in Detroit, we stand by all the people affected by the current COVID-19 pandemic. Our team is thrilled to partner with Feeding America in support of the NFL's Draft-A-Thon, which will serve as a unifying effort across the NFL during an exciting Draft weekend and hopefully inspire contributions from more people toward these important causes. We encourage our fans to join us in supporting Feeding America."
The Lions have led a variety of community initiatives to combat the current COVID-19 pandemic over the last month, including:
- Food truck rally for Henry Ford Hospital employees organized by Head Coach Matt Patricia, which provided lunch for approximately 1,850 hospital workers on the frontline fighting COVID-19.
- Through coordinated efforts by Head Coach Matt Patricia and team captain Jarrad Davis, provided $50,000 in funding for Detroit Lions Inspire Change partner, The Empowerment Plan, to establish operations for manufacturing medical gowns and masks.
- Financial donation to Detroit Public Schools Community District to support their efforts to provide students with the resources they need while at home.
- Financial donation to Forgotten Harvest for food distribution efforts in Southeast Michigan.
- Financial donation for the purchase of clean water for Flint Community Schools to hand out at food distribution sites.
- Meijer and Kroger gift card donations to community partners including HAVEN, Downtown Boxing Gym, Pure Heart and The Empowerment Plan to support their families.
- Providing Detroit Lions Charities grant partners flexibility in the use of their grant funds during this time.
ABOUT DRAFT-A-THON AND FEEDING AMERICA
Funds from Draft-A-Thon will help support six national nonprofits and their respective COVID-19 relief efforts including American Red Cross, Feeding America, Meals on Wheels, Salvation Army, United Way and the CDC Foundation. The Lions' chosen beneficiary, Feeding America's COVID-19 Response Fund, aims to help member food banks meet the increased need due to school closures, job disruptions, and current health risks.