Friday, May 24

San Francisco 49ers player, University of Miami alum helps feed those in need

A former University of Miami football player and veteran NFL offensive lineman teamed up with a South Florida organization to help those facing food insecurity.

For more than 40 years, Feeding South Florida has provided more than 1 million meals to residents in need.

Jon Feliciano, who currently plays for the San Francisco 49ers, was in Boynton Beach on Monday to lend a helping hand to the agency as they prepared meals for the week.

The nine-year NFL veteran said that while growing up in Broward County he was impacted by food insecurity.

“I grew up tough,” Feliciano said. “There were times when I didn’t know where my next meal was coming from.”

He said he remembers his family’s power would get shut off when he was a child.

“In high school, I was homeless for a little bit,” Feliciano said.

Feliciano, who grew up in Davie, remembers the kind gestures and how his community gathered around him.

“My high school did a lot for me, whether it was feeding me or giving me a Publix gift card to get food,” Feliciano said.

These days, he and his family are much more financially stable, but he still remembers where he comes from.

“Feeding South Florida provides food assistance and other critical resources to individuals and families who are battling food insecurity and hunger,” Allyson Vaulx of Feeding South Florida.

Feeding South Florida, which started 43 years ago, provides food assistance to more than one million people across the region each year.

While Feliciano and Feeding South Florida spent the day chopping broccoli and blending sweet potatoes, the NFL player’s daughter, Shawn, served as her father’s sous chef.

Feliciano said he usually never lets his daughter miss school, but he wanted to ensure she understands the meaning of giving back.

“I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for the help of others,” Feliciano said. “I brought my daughter today. Fortunately for her, she won’t have to grow up the way I did.”

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