If there’s one thing the Miami Dolphins are good at, it’s making an impact off the field. That’s precisely what they did on Tuesday morning, as the Miami Dolphins teamed up with GENYOUth and the Miami Super Bowl Committee to provide 100 grab and go breakfast cart systems to South Florida school districts.
The event celebrates the 100th anniversary of the National Football League, along with the start of the Florida Super School Breakfast Initiative. That initiative is what will deliver the 100 Grab and Go breakfast carts, increasing access to 10 million school meals for South Florida students.
“This is part of the legacy that we are leaving behind.” said Janelle Prieto, Vice President of Communications, Marketing and Community Partnerships for the Miami Super Bowl Host Committee. “We really go beyond the game, that’s one day. But it’s all the work that happens leading up to that, and this is just one of those legacies.”
As part of the celebration, kids were able to enjoy a good lunch, and the opportunity to participate in football drills hosted by Dolphins alumni Twan Russell, Troy Drayton, and Ed Perry.
The kids had a great time. https://t.co/YLH7f9OKHK
— Twan Russell (@TwanRussell) October 22, 2019
But in truth, through all the celebration, this event also brings to light a very real problem not many know about. Evidently, many children in South Florida actually don’t get enough to eat. Research shows some disturbing statistics that further show the need for events like this.
- 20% of children in Florida live in poverty.
- 18% of children in Broward County live in poverty.
- 22% of children in Miami-Dade County live in poverty.
- 19% of children in Palm Beach County live in poverty.
In a country so rich in resources, that’s simply unacceptable. Kids need to be able to eat to function properly in school. Working on an empty stomach only makes learning that much harder. That is why the Dolphins and their partners put so much emphasis on this particular cause.
“The fact of the matter is that of course, breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” said Magdalena Prieto, the General Manager for school food service in Palm Beach County. “And of the children can’t have breakfast, they can’t concentrate. This will give us an opportunity to reach more kids throughout the day with breakfast.”
“Think about it this way,” said Dolphins alumni and Youth Programs Ambassador Twan Russell. “I always believe you never know who you’re impacting. These kids have a destiny that was created for them before they were even born. And sometimes those destinies get derailed because kids are not performing at a high level in the classroom. By providing them a meal, now they ‘re coming into the classroom in better spirits. And who knows? What if we’re feeding the person that’s gonna cure AIDS, cure cancer, and we had a say in it because we’re providing them a meal?”
It’s hard to say what long-term impacts these efforts will have. Indeed, only time will tell. However, there’s no doubt that the kids who benefit from the team’s efforts are not looking at Miami’s on-field record. They are just thankful that the Dolphins’ off-field record has no equal.
Luis Sung has covered the Miami Dolphins for numerous outlets such as Dolphins Wire for six years. Follow him on Twitter: @LuisDSung