By: NobleHour Special Contributor Dolly Duplantier

Over a 100 million people are expected to watch Super Bowl 50. It’s an economic win for the NFL, the city of Santa Clara, and the San Francisco Bay area. It’s also a huge financial gain for advertisers, every take-out and delivery restaurant, bars with big screen televisions, as well as snack, liquor, and beverage distributors throughout the country.

Super Bowl Sunday is a close second to Thanksgiving when it comes eating. The National Chicken Council reports an estimated 1.3 billion chicken wings will be consumed during the Super Bowl. In previous years, Domino’s Pizza sold more than 11 million slices of pizza on the big game day. And, according to the Nielson Company, nine out of ten people will watch the game at their home or a friend’s house. It’s one of the biggest events for friends and family to come together besides the holidays.

So, if everyone else is benefitting from the big event, why can’t we enjoy it too by using it to spark a movement to help others? With this being the National Football League’s 50th Super Bowl, why not celebrate this anniversary in a special way?

The NFL and the Super Bowl Host Committee are doing their part with a number of community events organized to provide support to those in need. In addition, throughout the season, the National Football League’s Taste of NFL asked fans to raise money online through their Kick Hunger Challenge. 

Fans from all NFL teams compete against each other all season by raising money online for food banks in NFL communities around the country. The funds raised will directly impact the donation of thousands of meals to food banks in each team’s community. Fans can go online to make donations in the name of their favorite NFL team. Check it out to see if your team is in the top 10

In addition to the Kick Hunger Campaign, the NFL hosts Party with a Purpose®, a food and wine event in the host city the Saturday before the Super Bowl. Chefs from each NFL city provide food and wine pairings for guests to sample. Proceeds from the event also benefit food banks in each of the NFL cities.

So, if the NFL can have a party with a purpose – why can’t we? If you’re planning a Super Bowl party, why not encourage your guests to bring a couple of cans or boxes of non perishables to donate to your local food bank? Or ask them to bring gently used clothing, coats, hats, and gloves to donate to your local shelter. 

Are you a member of a club or service organization at your college or high school? How about a friendly competition? Start a buzz on social media and compete against each other to raise money or donate cans of food for your local food pantry. One of the easiest ways to find your nearest emergency feeding program is to call 311 or the Hunger Hotline at 1-866-3Hungry.  You can also go to Feeding America to search for a food bank in your area. 

Did you know that almost 50 million people in the U.S., including about 17 million children, lack access to adequate food? A $10 dollar donation can buy 80 meals. $25 can provide 200 meals! Even the smallest donations add up and can make a huge difference for families in need. Just imagine if every one of the over 100 million viewers donated $10 to their local food bank or donated a can of food at their Super Bowl party. Or, better yet, what if we decided that the weekend after the Super Bowl (the first weekend without football!), we could get together with friends and family and volunteer our time at a local community organization? It might not be as big of an economic impact like the Super Bowl, but it would be a positive one. How will you watch the Super Bowl this year? Join in the excitement. Support your favorite team and your community! It’s a win-win!

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