Why Kelvin Beachum Jr. is Proud to Celebrate National Farmers Day!
Living on a beef farm in the small, rural town of Mexia, Texas, I understand exactly where my food comes from – and just how important farmers are. If I want a pear or an apple, I can go grab one off a tree. If I want some pecans, I can go pick them.
This Farmer’s Day (October 12), I’m excited to celebrate the hardworking people who grow and provide our food. Farmers make the world go ‘round, and I don’t think they get enough credit.
Growing up, my family had enough to feed my three siblings and me, but even with what we grew ourselves, we still relied on food stamps, WIC and free and reduced lunch at school. Today, they call it “food insecurity.” We just called it being poor.
Experiencing hunger as a kid motivated me to do everything I can to fight hunger as an adult. One in six people in America faces hunger. I believe that having enough food – and good, quality food – is necessary to perform your best. Access to food is a basic human right.
As an NFL ambassador for the Fuel Up to Play 60 initiative, an in-school health and wellness program, part of what I teach kids is how important fresh, high-quality food is to performing well in school and in life. I show them that it’s cool to love blueberries and pineapple and calcium rich milk!
As a student athlete at SMU, I volunteered at the North Texas Food Bank in Dallas frequently. When I got to the NFL, my passion and commitment for serving remained. I have regularly volunteered at a food bank in every city I have played for. It feels like a natural part of my routine. This service led to appointment to the Entertainment Council for Feeding America, who have a network of over 200 community food banks across the country. I was also honored as the Ambassador at Large for the Central Texas Food Bank who serves my hometown, tri-county area.
It might seem like hunger in the U.S. only affects those who are homeless or struggle with severe poverty, but it actually impacts a lot of middle-class people who are just trying to pay the bills. There are families who are forced to choose between putting food on the table and trying to keep the lights on, to keep their car running so they can get to work, or to put clothes on their kids’ backs.
The sad truth is, hunger doesn’t take a vacation. There are many children who don’t know where their next meal is coming from. A family might conquer hunger on a Wednesday, but there is no guarantee it won’t be back on Friday. We can conquer hunger in our lifetimes, and I am committed to being a part of the solution.
It’s a privilege to help feed people. Since becoming a father, I have a greater motivation to ensure that no child goes hungry. I couldn’t stand that happening to my children.
As someone who is no stranger to the farm life and as someone on the front lines in the fight against hunger, I’m excited and hopeful to see farmers get the recognition they deserve. After all, farmers are the ones who help feed our families. Without them, there wouldn’t be the fresh, healthy food that athletes and children and everyone need to fuel their bodies to perform their best.
To join in the conversation, check out #NationalFarmersDay.