Hunger likely isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think of an NFL offensive lineman.
Dallas Cowboys All-Pro center Travis Frederick is the first to acknowledge that.
“It is ironic,” the 6-foot-3, 317-pound Frederick said, smiling. “But that’s also why we played on that in the name of the foundation — Blocking Out Hunger. We’re big guys and doing our blocking, but there are bigger things in life than football. One in every four kids in Dallas is hungry. It’s tough to see.”
That’s why Frederick is doing what he can to help eliminate the problem. Frederick has started a foundation — Travis Frederick’s Blocking Out Hunger Foundation — to provide support for inner-city and low-income children throughout the DFW area who struggle with hunger.
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At a time when protests during the national anthem have become a prominent and divisive storyline across the league, things such as this oftentimes get lost in the shuffle.
Frederick will spend Monday, his only day off next week, raising money for it. Frederick’s ‘Steak-Out for Hunger presented by Albertsons and Tom Thumb’ will take place Monday night at the Hilton Anatole, an event that raised more than $200,000 last year in its inaugural year.
Tickets are still available for fans interested in meeting Frederick and a few of his teammates that night. They start at $350.
Frederick said more than 20 of his teammates have already committed to join him, and they’ll be serving appetizers and hors d’oeuvres before the event so folks have a chance to mix and mingle with players.
There will also be live and silent auctions as well as other ways to raise money for the charity.
The money raised from the event goes toward things such as ‘Nourish2Flourish,’ a program that feeds 200 area kids during summer break. For winter break, the goal is to feed 800 kids.
Frederick also is set to launch a new initiative Tuesday called ‘Travis’ Pantry’ that will put pantries in schools where kids will have food accessible to them for weekends. The pantries will be re-stocked every other week by Albertsons.
Frederick has been passionate about this issue ever since his rookie season when he saw the need first-hand during a charity event.
“I went to downtown Dallas and passed out meals to people who were in need. When I saw those people, especially the kids coming through there and how happy they were to be getting that first meal they hadn’t had in a while, it was so sad to me,” Frederick said. “That’s when I dedicated my platform to childhood hunger.
“It’s unbelievable the opportunity we have as professional football players. Because of that platform, because of how visible we can be, I feel it’s sort of our responsibility to do something with that platform.”