The #ChiefsBillsBackpackChallenge

The Buffalo Bills gained a herd of new supporters in the wake of Saturday’s AFC playoff victory for the way their fans rallied around injured Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson.

Jackson left the game with a concussion in the second half of the 17-3 loss to the Bills. After the game, Buffalo fans on a Reddit message board began a push for donations to Jackson’s favorite charity — Blessings in a Backpack, a child-hunger organization based in Louisville, Ky. The 2016 Heisman Trophy winner starred at the University of Louisville.

Over 17,000 people have donated since January 16 — most from the Bills Mafia fan base, but many from other NFL teams and people who “don’t like football but are inspired” by the movement.

On January 18, Bills Mafia challenged the Chiefs Kingdom to donate to help surpass the $500,000 mark before Sunday’s game. $500,000 will help provide 125,000 hunger-free weekends for kids who are experiencing food insecurity.

Updated January 29, 8:30pET:

  • $512,000 donated

  • 17,412 fans

  • 128,000 hunger-free weekends!

About Blessings in a Backpack

Blessings in a Backpack mobilizes communities, individuals, and resources to provide food on the weekends for elementary school children across America who might otherwise go hungry.

As closures caused by COVID-19 lead to a rise in unemployment and poverty, it is projected that 18 MILLION CHILDREN* are experiencing food insecurity. That’s one in four American children who may be struggling with access to food.

The consequences of hunger are much more than a growling stomach. Poor nutrition can result in a weaker immune system, increased hospitalization, lower IQ, shorter attention spans, and lower academic achievement. Children are fed during the school week by federal government programs. We want to make sure they’re getting nutritional meals over the weekend, too.

Blessings in a Backpack is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization feeding 88,900 children in fall 2020 at more than 1,090 schools in 46 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.

*Source: Feeding America

$130 will feed one child on the weekends for one 38-week school year through the Blessings in a Backpack program—the results: nourished kids ready to learn. Food is an essential building block, and in this case, it is truly a blessing, especially to a hungry child!

We are a national organization made up of seven regional chapters and more than 1,000 volunteer-driven programs. We share the goal of preventing childhood hunger on the weekends for the kids who need us most. Click here to find a chapter or program near you.