On the way into the locker room following morning practice on Thursday, the 49ers were greeted by 15 children from the City of Oakland's Summer Lunch Program.
The youth were just a sampling of the nearly 2,500 children who received a generous $30,000 donation from over 20 of the 49ers players to provide the kids with healthy meals for more than three months.
Spearheaded by 49ers cornerback and return specialist Allen Rossum, the players teamed up with Revolution Foods, a Bay Area-based company that provides freshly made, high quality meals to high-need students and families in the community. Through the donation and the partnership with Revolution Foods, over 300 kids from the San Francisco Boys and Girls Club, 600 from Aim High and 1,500 from the City of Oakland's Summer Lunch Program benefitted from the donation.
Rossum has always been an advocate for eating healthy and helping to fight the alarming numbers of child obesity in our society.
"It is something I have been doing since 2003, getting kids involved in active and healthy lifestyles involving exercise and eating healthy foods. When I came to San Francisco, I wanted to continue the legacy I was trying to leave after football. When I heard about Revolution Foods and what they were doing, I figured it would be a perfect fit for another organization I am involved in, Professional Athletes Council."
Rossum co-founded the Professional Athletes Council (PAC) in 2006 with NBA star Jerry Stackhouse to use their position as role-models and influential community leaders to help reverse the rising rates of youth obesity.
In addition to Rossum, the entire 49ers secondary, including CB Nate Clements, CB Dre´ Bly, CB Marcus Hudson, CB Tarell Brown, S Mark Roman, S Curtis Taylor, S Reggie Smith, S Michael Lewis, CB Eric Green, CB Jahi Word-Daniels, CB Shawntae Spencer, S Dashon Goldson, CB Carlos Thomas, CB Terrail Lambert, along with WR Isaac Bruce, TE Vernon Davis, RB Frank Gore, RB Michael Robinson, LB Takeo Spikes, FB Moran Norris, WR Josh Morgan and TE Delanie Walker, combined forces for the donation to Revolution Foods to help the underprivileged youth in the Bay Area.
"Everyone deserves to have access to healthy food, and not everyone has access to healthy food. Not everyone knows how to find it or how to make it," said Kirsten Tobey, Revolution Foods founder and chief operating officer. "We are so excited to get Allen and everyone else here involved in making sure all these kids can have healthy foods for the summer."
The youth who attended the 49ers practice facility were greeted and welcomed by 49ers alumni Guy McIntyre and given the opportunity to catch the end of practice, sign autographs and take pictures with the entire team and Head Coach Mike Singletary. Following autographs, the youth received special treat with presentations from Rossum, members of each organization and the opportunity to participate in a 10 minute workout session led by Rossum.
Along with the healthy meals all summer, as part of the donation and through the partnership with PAC and the 49ers, the San Francisco Boys and Girls Club will have the funding to implement a program called "Instant Recess", putting recess back into the daily schedule in the Fall.
As an added incentive for the youth to remain active and healthy in the fall, the 49ers and PAC are holding a competition between the San Francisco Boys and Girls Club programs to create the best active recess program. The winners of the competition will be rewarded with an appearance from the players during the 2009 season and given the opportunity to participate in Instant Recess with some of their favorite professional athletes.