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Super Bowl…Be the 12th Man Against Hunger.


Emily Fulmer is the Grower Outreach Coordinator at

The Super Bowl is just around the corner and I think we can all learn a little something from the whole 12th man on the team idea.

Ok, I have to admit that my husband had to explain to me what the 12th man is in football.  So there are 11 guys on each team out of the field during the game. The crowd is the 12th man that gives the home team that extra edge to win a game. They are the sometimes-maniacal cheering masses that can ice a kicker or just give their team the extra oomph they need to get the ball all the way down the field.

That’s a pretty cool idea isn’t it? I mean, usually a football game for me is all about the beer and the half time show, but if I think about doing more than stuffing my face with nachos because I’m actually a part of the team, then maybe I could get into it more. Maybe.

football fans

An example of 12th man responsibilities being taken VERY seriously.

Of course, there are probably hundreds of thousands of people—like my husband—who believe that their fandom, the volume of their cheers (even at home in front of the TV!) and the lucky shirt they wear are all essential parts of their 12th man responsibilities.  This is not a job taken lightly.

Now imagine for a moment that the anti-hunger organizations out there had a 12th man on the team that put as much energy into helping end hunger as football fans will this coming Sunday!  Oh how much we could accomplish together!

A monetary donation (even one that’s a fraction of the price of a Super Bowl ticket), a food drive at work, or even donating fresh food from your garden to your local food pantry is a major score for the anti-hunger team.  (See what I did there?)

Here’s an idea: when your Super Bowl party is over and you realize you never even opened that extra bag of hot dog buns (because of course they don’t sell buns and hot dogs in the same quantity), visit to locate a food pantry near you. Then donate those extra buns to feed hungry families.  You can do the same thing with any extra unopened and uncut food you have left over. And hey, since you’re such a hard-core 12th man, why not gather up some extra cans of food from the pantry and some fresh produce from your garden or fridge and donate that too?

12th man

There are plenty of ways to channel your energy and make a difference in the lives of hungry families in your community.  And, if we work together we can knock hunger out of the park…wait, I think that’s a baseball reference…but you know what I mean.


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