NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Titans had great teammates in their huddle Tuesday.
Titans rookies, cheerleaders and administrators joined the United Way, Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee and Catholic Charities of Tennessee in a food distribution effort in east Nashville for Hometown Huddle, an annual day of service conducted by all 32 NFL franchises.
The food distribution occurs every two weeks at that location and provides nearby residents with about two weeks of assorted grocery supplies that included donated fruits, vegetables and dry goods.
After completing the food distribution, the Hometown Huddle teammates walked about a block to East Park Regional Recreation Center for an NFL PLAY 60 event where players led students in the center’s after-school program through a series of football drills and cheerleaders taught students dance moves.
“We think the Titans should feel terrific about what they’re doing in the community,” said Eric Dewey, President and CEO of United Way of Metropolitan Nashville. “I think about our young players, and they’ve got a lifetime and a career ahead of them, and this is just such an important moment for them to feel a part of this community.”
Dewey said United Way was proud to extend its partnership with the Titans and Second Harvest and Catholic Charities to help vulnerable Nashvillians.
“This is when Nashville shows its true colors, when we’ve got companies that have plenty, share it with organizations like Second Harvest and Catholic Charities, and United Way and the Titans can partner together and all of us come together to make life a little bit better for people in need,” Dewey said.
Titans Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Jenneen Kaufman, who is in her first year on the United Way Board, helped with the food distribution. Kaufman said she is excited about the existing partnership between the Titans and United Way and its potential.
“I think it’s a great opportunity for us to get out in the community and really try and help people,” Kaufman said. “That’s really what it’s all about. It’s about giving back to people. What we do on the field is of course a huge part of what we do, but really where we can make our biggest impact is getting out and helping people here in Nashville. We’re really excited to be here and have a part in this whole great event.”
Sherry Hipps, director of East Park Regional Recreation Center, said the PLAY 60 event reinforced the center’s focus on family fitness and recreation and healthy choices. Students are also able to receive help with homework in the after-school program.
“We were really excited when they contacted us,” Hipps said. “Our kids are big Titans fans, as we all are, and we’re right here by the stadium, so we’re excited to finally have a chance to incorporate some activities with Titans players and have the kids exercise with them.”
Titans Cheerleader Jessi, one of the squad’s captains, said her teammates enjoyed the opportunity to help pass out food and swap dance moves with the young people.
“We saw a dance studio in this facility, so we immediately kind of stormed in,” Jessi said. “They took pictures with us and we danced for them and they showed us their moves, so that was really cool to see young girls dancing and growing up doing what we did.”
Titans rookie cornerback
“We’re having fun,” Sensabaugh said. “We’re just out here enjoying these kids, throwing the ball around, having them do touchdown celebrations and getting to know them a little bit.”
Titans fans will have an opportunity to join the efforts to fight hunger this Sunday when the Titans, UnitedHealthcare, Kroger and Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee attempt to conduct the largest NFL Food Drive. Titans fans can participate by donating non-perishable food items at collection areas outside LP Field before the game.
ABOUT HOMETOWN HUDDLE
Hometown Huddle is a league-wide day of community-service activities that was started in 1999 to help make a difference in NFL communities. Teams have shown support for the NFL PLAY 60 initiative during Hometown Huddle in each of the past five seasons.