THE PLAYERS Championship is back and so is a campaign by one of the PGA TOUR’s top golfers to fight hunger in the region.
Once again, five-time PGA TOUR winner, 2014 FedExCup champion and Ponte Vedra Beach resident Billy Horschel is hosting his #DriveOutHunger campaign for Feeding Northeast Florida (FNEFL).
The nonprofit provides healthy food and critical resources to those struggling with food insecurity across eight regional counties.
Horschel will donate $1,000 for every birdie and $5,000 for every eagle that he makes during THE PLAYERS to Feeding Northeast Florida. He is also encouraging fans, supporters, friends and sponsors to do their part by going to www.feedingnefl.networkforgood.com/projects, choosing “Billy Horschel’s #DriveOutHunger Campaign” and selecting the desired donation amount.
Supporters can also go directly to the donation site at https://feedingnefl.networkforgood.com/projects/13210-billy-horschel-tpc-challenge.
2021 marks the campaign’s seventh year.
“Brittany and I got involved with the food bank after we had our first daughter, Skyler,” said Horschel by email. “It became more clear to us how important it is to put food on the table for children. Food insecurity is not just an issue for the homeless, but for hard working families who often work two or three jobs to make ends meet. Families who have to choose to pay the electric bill or buy groceries. To be able to help make a difference means a lot to us.”
He said a single dollar will provide six meals at the community food bank.
“It doesn’t take a lot of money to make a big difference,” he added.
Each day in Northeast Florida an estimated 326,000 live with food insecurity, according to feedingnefl.org/driveouthunger. The food bank connects millions of pounds of food to a network of more than 150 social service agencies and programs. It does this by “rescuing” high-quality food that would otherwise be wasted and then turning it into meals.
In 2018, Feeding Northeast Florida provided more than 14.1 million meals, up from 12.5 million the previous year.
Though THE PLAYERS Championship was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 situation, Horschel followed through with his generosity and commitment to feeding the hungry.
“Last year, when the tournament was canceled and we weren’t able to play, I felt it was more important than ever to still make a donation and donated $20,000 to FNEFL,” he said. “In addition, I was honored to help load the food trucks with seven tons of food that was left over from the canceled event.”
That food had been prepared for almost 10,000 people and would have gone to waste but, with the help of TPC Sawgrass Senior Executive Chef Azhar Mohammad and his team, it was donated to Feeding Northeast Florida.
This year, Horschel is returning to his traditional means of helping to fight food insecurity.
“I am looking forward to being back at Sawgrass,” he said Friday, “and hope to play four days of great golf, make lots of birdies and a few eagles for Feeding Northeast Florida. Everyone can make a difference; please pledge to donate at least $1 and provide six meals to those who need it.”
The campaign is ongoing through Sunday, March 14.
To learn more about Feeding Northeast Florida, go to www.feedingnefl.org.
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