Snacks the latest drive from Georgia football’s ‘Dawgs for Pups’

Georgia wide receiver Demetris Robertson (16) and his teammates watch the action from the sidelines of Woodruff Practice Fields on Sept. 3, 2020. (Steven Colquitt/UGA)
Georgia wide receiver Demetris Robertson (16) and his teammates watch the action from the sidelines of Woodruff Practice Fields on Sept. 3, 2020. (Steven Colquitt/UGA)

ATHENS -- The initiatives keep coming for the Georgia Bulldogs.

Georgia football players last week formed a group called “Dawgs for Pups” to come up with programs to initiate positive responses to all the social discord across the country. The latest is something they’re calling the “Food2Kids Snack Drive.”

Because temporary COVID-19 unemployment benefits have ended and many parents are unable to work while they’re children either aren’t attending schools or are attending them virtually, the Bulldogs thought providing daily snacks for local kids would be helpful. The Food Bank of Northeast Georgia, which reports an 80 percent increase in demand for food over its 2019 numbers, agreed and is partnering the players on a food-collection drive.

The plan is to collect “healthy and transportable snacks” to donate to the Food Bank. They are seeking granola bars, snack-size trail mix, nuts and pretzel bags, 100 percent fruit treat snacks and other snacks that aren’t easily crushed. They also are accepting canned goods.

Food2Kids donations are being collected at the main entrance of the Butts-Mehre football complex (1 Selig Circle, Athens, GA, 30602).

“I think us as athletes and the staff at (UGA) have a duty to help our community become a better place and become united,” senior receiver Demetris Robertson said in a statement sent out by the UGA Athletics. “To do something for a cause that is greater than myself is always awesome. I believe that once those kids grow up to be our age, they will want to give back, too.”

Said sophomore linebacker Nakobe Dean of Horn Lake, Miss.: “I’ve been giving back to my community as far as I can remember. Doing projects like this makes me feel like I am kind of continuing that tradition that we did with my mom growing up. It’s important to help the youth at all times, not just right now in times of despair, but all the time, since they are the future of our country.”

Food2Kids is one of several ideas that arose out of a team meeting the Bulldogs held two weeks ago to discuss protests, rioting and growing unrest across America. Late last week Dawgs for Pups rolled out a fundraising initiative to provide students in Athens-Clarke County with WiFi hotspots to help them attend online classes virtually. That project already has raised more than $40,000 and is still collecting donations at georgiadogs.com http://gado.gs/53q

The Bulldogs also marched together from the football complex to the Holmes-Hunter Academic Center on North Campus to hear the son of Hamilton Holmes, UGA’s first male Black student, speak. More actions are expected in the coming weeks.

“We as a team are excited to begin this second ‘Dawgs For Pups’ project after the first initiative got off to such a great start,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said. “Just as providing internet to the students in our area is important, providing snacks is also essential at this time. The demand at the local food bank is higher than ever, and I believe this is another opportunity for our players and the Bulldog Nation to answer the community’s call.”