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Notre Dame football players help fight childhood hunger

Notre Dame football took the team to a new arena Sunday afternoon. It’s one that helps fight childhood hunger.

 “We help over 2,000 kids get an opportunity to take food home every weekend during the school year,” said the CEO of the Food Bank of Northern Indiana, Milt Lee.

“Actually my two youngest ones go to Harrison Elementary, and they receive the bags on Fridays for and on the weekends and that, so it helps out with that, too,” said Elizabeth Heffner, whose kids rely on these backpacks for some of their meals.

100 Notre Dame football players helped pack up these backpacks at the Food Bank of Northern Indiana on Sunday.

“This is just a great opportunity to come out right in the middle of the season and just give back,” said Notre Dame football player, Nic Weishar.

“As Notre Dame athletes, we have this platform to be able to speak life into a lot of people, so the opportunity to come and shake everyone’s hand individually and give them food as well, it’s just an unbelievable opportunity for us,” said Notre Dame player Corey Robinson.

 “It warms my heart that you know these guys take their time off to volunteer for all the kids and all the people who can’t afford to get food and stuff like that,” said Heffner.

That’s why the food bank’s ‘Food for Kids’ program is so important.

“Packing a backpack with the snacks is maybe their only meal for the day,” said Kelly Cares Foundation founder Paqui Kelly.

Paqui Kelly is right.

“It just hurts that we don’t have enough money to get the food for them,” said Heffner.

Spending time with their favorite team, however, helped to ease that pain at least for the day.

“[It was] awesome girls, and you know we even got autographs from them and pictures, and even with the coach and that, that was like really lightened up my day,” she said.

Elizabeth Heffner and her kids are not alone.

16% of Hoosiers in St. Joseph County face food insecurity, according to Feeding America.

If you’d like to help end that hunger and donate to the Food Bank of Northern Indiana, just click here.

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