Starting in early April, the Smithtown High School West football team decided to take action and partner with its neighboring football teams to support frontline workers in hospitals. The Football Feeds Front Liners program was designed to do just that, while also supporting local restaurants which may be struggling during this time.
In response to the COVID-19 crisis and the effect it is having on communities, the football team partnered with Sojak Events, a local production company, to organize the movement. The program brings meals to those who are putting their own lives on the line each day to help local families stay healthy and protected.
“We kicked this off by donating 40 meals to St. Catherine of Siena Hospital in Smithtown on April 8, and we are challenging other local Long Island high school football teams and their coaches to give whatever they can,” said Smithtown High School West football coach Ron Muscarella.
“We know that this is a difficult time for everyone but if the teams are in a position to give even a small amount, it will help provide a catered meal or snack drop to our local front liners. Our goal is two-fold; provide some comfort through food for those who can’t stay home, while using local restaurants who are also struggling economically,” he added. “We are looking for the next teams to provide for Mather and Saint Charles hospitals and will continue to provide comfort and hope with each donation to various hospitals on Long Island for those on the front lines.”
So far, the program has provided more than 200 meals, most recently delivering 50 meals to Long Island Community Hospital with food from Rudi’s Bar and Grill. Teams can choose one of two options to donate. For $100, they can feed 10 front liners (a small hospital unit) breakfast or lunch or for a $150 donation, they can feed 25 people (a large unit) breakfast or lunch. Many of the donations are coming from money already raised by the football teams, through booster clubs and prior fundraising events. The goal is to challenge another team to do the same, using different social media platforms.
“Football has always been a sport that gathers fans in large cheering crowds, excited to see their favorite players and teams,” Muscarella said. “As sports teams across the country are on pause from playing the games they love, what better way to show our sportsmanship and passion for the game than giving back to the ‘teams’ that need it most right now.”
Photo captions: Smithtown High School West football coach Ron Muscarella recently delivered 50 meals from Rudi’s Bar and Grill to Long Island Community Hospital as part of his Football Feeds Front Liners movement.
Photos courtesy of Smithtown Central School District