NEW YORK (FOX5NY.COM) - Jets left tackle Kelvin Beachum is incredibly important on the field. But on Tuesday, Beachum was even more important to some senior citizens at Food Bank for New York City's community kitchen in Harlem. Because of him, they got to eat.
When you look at Beachum, you may not believe that when he grew in rural Mexia, Texas, his parents and grandparents relied on food stamps. Beachum's family struggled with food insecurity throughout his childhood. Now off the field, his passion is in the fight against hunger. He said his parents actually shielded him from what was going on.
"But as we grew of age and understood what our parents went through and the sacrifices that they made, for me it was just being able to come back and do something," Beachum said.
Immediately after arriving, Beachum got to work preparing the food. Then he served each individual with a smile.
"Being able to feed somebody, being able to give them a meal that they didn't have is a blessing," Beachum said.
"Twenty-eight percent of residents in West Harlem struggle to afford food—so that's about one in four," Dr. Camesha Grant, a VP at Food Bank for NYC, said.
Beachum donated $5,000 to Food Bank for New York City. He then challenged New Yorkers by pledging to double this amount if they match his support. He is holding similar challenges in all the cities he played football.
"Excited to report that we hit our goal of $70,000 being able to provide over 3,000 meals, which is awesome," he said.
"That makes me feel happy that he volunteered his time. I know he could've been a lot of places, but he chose the Food Bank of New York," Edith, a client, said. "It's a home away from home."
Despite Beachum's large monetary donation, Food Bank of New York City is always in need of more donations and more volunteers: $1 provides five meals and 800 volunteers are needed each week.
But on this day, they had one large Jets offensive lineman doing the job.