Hoops for Troops - Commitment to Service

Dallas Mavericks staff and military veterans team up to stuff bags for the Food4Kids program at the North Texas Food Bank.

The Mavs and members of the Armed Forces prepared 5,000 meals Nov. 6 at the North Texas Food Bank which will be distributed to students at more than 330 schools across North Texas as part of Hoops For Troops Week and Hoops For Troops Commitment to Service.

Hoops For Troops Week is a collaborative initiative between the NBA, Department of Defense, and USO. Teams and their current and former players partner with the USO, local installations, and a variety of military- and veteran-serving organizations for several activities, including leadership seminars, community service events, and basketball-focused fitness activities.

Men and women of the Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth teamed up with members of the Mavs’ corporate office, the Mavs Dancers, and the Mavs ManiAACs to pack meals for the Food 4 Kids program. The final food tally: eight pallets, 240 boxes, and 1,680 bags, which comes to right at 5,000 meals.

Aaron Chambers, senior manager of corporate engagement for the Food Bank, said the initiative distributes 12,000 “backpacks” of food across 10 counties each Friday, and the backpacks provide two-thirds of the recommended nutritional value for the entire weekend. Contents included various cereals, snacks, milk, and juice.

“The North Texas Food Bank is particularly grateful to benefit from their partnership, as nearly 1 in 5 of our client households is home to veterans or active duty military,” Chambers said. “Distributing 170,000 meals each day is no easy task, which makes our volunteers essential to our success. Through their legacy of service, members of the Mavericks and the Armed Forces have improved the lives of countless North Texans and helped to lay a foundation that will ensure that countless more will have the nutrition at their most challenging times.”

The Food Bank’s goal is to prepare and distribute 92 million meals across the region, and so far we’re about two-thirds of the way there. Each donated dollar can provide up to three meals for children, senior citizens, or families in need.

From a personal standpoint, working for even just a few hours at the Food Bank was a very fulfilling experience. It’s a good feeling knowing that the bag of nutritious food you’re packing is going to go to a kid who could really use it. And working alongside fellow employees and members of the military made it even better.

Each military staff member who helped also attended the Mavs’ Veterans Day showdown with the Los Angeles Clippers on Nov. 11. They arrived in style, too, on the swanky Fox Sports Southwest Mavs Express Bus. It goes without saying that it was a good time, as that was perhaps the best game of the season so far in the entire league.

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