Retired NBA player and activist Stephen Jackson is tapping into the power of paying it forward through helping families who are facing food insecurity. According to KSNV, the former Los Angeles Clippers player recently participated in a Las Vegas-based food drive.
The community-driven effort was collaboratively led by Jackson, Feeding Children and Families Across America, Murphy’s Produce, the Girls Athletic Leadership School and other local nonprofits. Athletes like Jackson joined forces with the groups to lead a national campaign designed to eradicate hunger in vulnerable communities throughout the country. During the food drive, nearly 1,200 families received fresh produce. Meals were also delivered to individuals who could not make it to the food distribution event. To shed light on the alarming statistics related to food insecurity and foster conversations surrounding solutions, the groups hosted a discussion with elected officials about socio-economic obstacles and measures that can be put in place to address hunger.
“Just like we make money, we can make food, we can end hunger, we can end homelessness,” Jackson said in a statement, according to the news outlet. “At the end of the day it’s not rocket science, treat people how you want to be treated. And that starts at the top, people that are living fine, people that are doing well.” He is on a mission to host food drives in all 50 states.
Food insecurity is one of America’s most pressing issues. Due to burdens stemming from the public health crisis, more than 42 million people may face hunger—including 13 million children, the nonprofit Feeding America reported. Many basketball players have led projects centered on providing meals for those in need. Amid the pandemic, Kyrie Irving donated $323,000 to Feeding America and provided 250,000 meals for New York residents through City Harvest.