Nets, Key Food donate more than 8,000 pounds of food to Brooklyn families in need
The Brooklyn Nets are already in the offseason, having missed out on the playoffs for a second straight year, but that did not deter members of the organization from taking time out of their vacation to give back to the borough.
Last week, center Justin Hamilton, the Nets’ dance team the Brooklynettes and employees from Key Food volunteered and served lunch at St. John’s Bread and Life, a food pantry at 795 Lexington Ave. in Bedford-Stuyvesant.
The April 20 Celebratory Lunch was held in conjunction with a more than 8,000-pound donation to Brooklyn families in need from the Nets and Key Food’s charity the Key Food Charity Stripe Initiative.
The Nets made a pledge last season to donate 10 pounds of food or household goods to families in need for every free throw made at Barclays Center.
The team made a total of 777 foul shots at their arena last year.
The Nets had the 10th best free-throw percentage last season with 78.8 percent. The team held the 13th best home free-throw percentage at 78.6 percent, according to teamrankings.com.
“The event means a lot to me, and I’m glad that the Brooklyn Nets and Key Food are so involved in the local community,” Hamilton told the Brooklyn Eagle.
“It’s great to meet some terrific people at St. John’s Bread and Life, and I’m thankful to be able to see firsthand the important work that the staff and volunteers do here on a daily basis.”
St. John’s Bread and Life, founded in 1982, works to alleviate hunger and poverty in Brooklyn and Queens. The organization serves more than 2,500 meals a day to needy New Yorkers.
“It was a fantastic event and a tremendously good deed that will help us,” said St. John’s Bread and Life Development Director Candyce Mason. “The best thing about the day is that it put smiles on all our guests.”
She added, “Key Food’s donation of over 8,000 pounds of food will help feed dozens of struggling families and individuals. It was a fun day.”
The event was held in conjunction with Key Food’s 80th anniversary.
Charity Stripe is a program that leverages Key Food’s partnership as the official supermarket of the Nets by giving back to the local community along with help from Kellogg’s, KraftHeinz, Post Fruity Pebbles, Nathan’s, Friendship Dairies, Fantastik and Progresso Traditional Chicken Noodle Soup.
KraftHeinz donated $1,000 to St. John’s Bread and Life as part of the event.
Visitors of the food pantry met, took photos and received autographs from Hamilton and the Brooklynettes.
The team has had a long history of giving back to Brooklyn and beyond since it moved to the borough in 2012.
Justin Hamilton, one of the more active community members of the team, took part in two recent charity events.
On March 27, Hamilton, along with Nets players Sean Kilpatrick, Joe Harris and Quincy Acy, visited and signed autographs for patients in the cancer center at Maimonides Medical Center.
In December, the holidays came early for a group of 75 underprivileged kids as Hamilton and three other Nets players danced, laughed and handed out gifts to children at Santa Land at Atlantic Terminal in Downtown Brooklyn.
The other players who attended were all-star center Brook Lopez, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and former Net Luis Scola.
The youngsters, aged 6 to 10, were from Children of Promise, NYC (CPNYC), a nonprofit that helps children who have incarcerated parents.
CPNYC, like St. John’s Bread and Life, is based in Bedford-Stuyvesant, which has one of the highest concentrations of incarceration in the city.
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