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Donations are pouring into Burrow’s hunger relief fund amid playoff run

‘We’re grateful and inspired by the Who Dey Nation’s continued support. They are changing lives.’
Cincinnati Bengals kicker Evan McPherson (2) celebrates his game-winning field goal against the...
Cincinnati Bengals kicker Evan McPherson (2) celebrates his game-winning field goal against the Tennessee Titans with Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) after an NFL divisional round playoff football game, Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. The Cincinnati Bengals won 19-16.(AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)(Mark Humphrey | AP)
Published: Jan. 28, 2022 at 7:19 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 28, 2022 at 7:20 PM EST
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NELSONVILLE, Ohio (WXIX) - Bengals fans have donated thousands to the Joe Burrow Hunger Relief Fund during the team’s playoff run.

Donations have come in increments of $9, representing Burrow’s jersey number, $31, representing the number of years since the Bengals last won a playoff game. (Not anymore!)

Nearly 300 donations have been made in the two weeks since the win against the Las Vegas Raiders at Paul Brown Stadium, according to a spokesperson with the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio.

Burrow sparked the movement of giving in his 2019 Heisman Trophy acceptance speech, where the Athens native expressed sympathy for the plight of those who go hungry in his hometown.

“Coming from southeast Ohio, the poverty rate is almost twice the national average,” Burrow said. “There are so many people there who don’t have a lot, and I’m up here for all those kids in Athens and Athens County who go home to not a lot of food on the table, hungry after school. You guys can be up here, too.”

As a result of that speech, the Athens County Food Pantry received more than $500,000 in donations.

After being selected first overall by the Cincinnati Bengals in 2020, Burrow established his hunger relief fund at the FAO in partnership with and under the oversight of the county food pantry.

Since then, the fund has raised more than $1.3 million, including thousands that poured in after Burrow’s season-ending knee injury in November 2020.

MORE BENGALS!

Burrow’s hunger relief fund has now reached a sufficient size to support a yearly endowment in the amount of $50,000 for the fight against hunger in Southeast Ohio.

Moreover in 2022, the fund will begin offering hunger relief grants to other nonprofit organizations addressing contributing factors to hunger in the region. The grants will result from a partnership with FAO’s I’m a Child of Appalachia Fund.

“In addition to addressing food insecurity, we will be using the funds to support projects that address the root causes of challenges of hunger, such as unemployment and underemployment, job training, education, a lack of transportation and other barriers,” said Athens County Food Pantry President Karin Bright.

Cara Dingus Brook is FAO President and CEO.

“The Joe Burrow Hunger Relief Fund didn’t get to $1.3 million because a few donors gave staggering amounts,” she said. “We got here thanks to thousands of caring individuals giving what they can.

“The impact the Cincinnati Bengals community has made on hunger in Southeast Ohio humbles us. We’re grateful and inspired by the Who Dey Nation’s continued support. They are changing lives.”

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