Back in late July, the Gwinnett Daily Post ran a story on the various Food Pantries located in Gwinnett County, and how they were in dire need of supplies. The article caught the eye of Jim Hall, the Gladiators Director of Community Relations, and he began to give some thought as to how the organization could help out. After realizing that the Gladiators could make donations via their Foundation, he sat down with the Gladiators Christina Johnson to bat around ideas and devise a formal plan. With all of the ts crossed and is dotted, the pair headed in to meet with GM of Business Operations Joe Gelderman, who was immediately on board with the plan. In an effort to truly fill the needs of each individual pantry, the Gladiators decided to gift each location with Kroger Gift Cards, instead of boxes or bags of pre-selected food. Knowing that would mean a large purchase of gift cards, Joe reached out to Kroger to determine how best to obtain the cards. Along the way, Kroger both a longtime supporter of the Gladiators and well known for giving back to their communities decided to chip in some gift cards of their own to help the Glads help the food banks. Early on September 24th with gift cards and directions in hand - Jim, Christina, and Head Coach Andy Brandt headed out to the food banks. Mary Roberts and the Hands of Christ Duluth Co-Op were the first stop, followed by Linda Freund at the Lawrenceville Co-Op, and Gene Brinkley with the Quinn House. The Gladiators learned about what goes into running a food bank, and the many families and situations they service all with a smile on their face! It turns out that jelly, of all things, is quite the hot commodity in Gwinnett as it was mentioned along all of their stops. In addition to the three food banks visited this morning, the Gladiators will make similar donations to five additional locations in Gwinnett bringing the grand total up to $4500 spread over eight pantries.The Gladiators absolutely could not do what they do in the community with the help, support, and amazing generosity of Gladiators Nation. Every year, you continue to astound the organization with your selflessness, and it is so very much appreciated. Thank you, fans, for allowing us to do great things in the place we call home. Thank you, as well, to Kroger, for their assistance and contributions to making this attempt to give back a reality. Click FACEBOOK to view photos from the caravan. Click GladsTV to view a video of our visits.
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