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Jaguars reach out through Operation Blessing

Tuesday, November 20 was proclaimed Tackling Hunger Day by Jacksonville Mayor John Delaney as the Jaguars joined with several corporate partners, hundreds of volunteers and other local organizations to assist over 3,000 Eastside families who are in need during this holiday period.

Twelve Jaguars players, led by cornerback Fernando Bryant, and over 230 First Union/Wachovia and Publix Super Markets volunteers, off-loaded two truckloads of groceries and distributed non-perishable food items donated by growers, food processors and manufacturer's that support Operation Blessing International, a national nonprofit humanitarian relief organization. Publix provided one truck while another from Operation Blessing's Hunger Strike Force was on site. Campbell's Chunky Soup also donated 2,000 cans of soup on behalf of the Jaguars as part of Campbell's Chunky/NFL Tackling Hunger 2001 program.

In addition, eight area agencies that serve the disadvantaged throughout the First Coast region picked up boxes of frozen turkeys donated by Jaguars' players and staff. Agencies that participated included the City Rescue Mission, Salvation Army, Jacksonville Housing Authority, United Way of St. Johns County, the Clara White Mission, The Bridge of Northeast Florida, Catholic Charities, and Community Connections (formerly YWCA).

Free glaucoma screenings were offered by the Vision is Priceless Council and blood pressure screenings were offered by the Florida-Georgia Blood Alliance. Diabetes education and exam information was also distributed. Volunteers read to children, who also had a chance to meet Santa Claus.

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