FRISCO, Texas – Travis Frederick is used to blocking at the second level.
In 2017 he's planning to take his foundation, Blocking Out Hunger, to the next level, as well.
For several years, Frederick's foundation has worked to provide support for inner-city and low-income children throughout Dallas who struggle with hunger. It's a cause that has been important to him since he started with the Cowboys and had a chance to see the impact he could have on area children.
"When you get to see those kids that are just so excited to have a meal, it's heartbreaking knowing that, oftentimes, they're not getting that meal – today might be a special day that they get that meal," he said. Knowing that they can't be at their fullest without having food really sunk into my heart. From there we started building up a little bit to do as much as we could to try and bring more awareness to it – but also to help feed these kids."
Those efforts are ramping up a bit starting this year. With the success of some fundraising efforts, Frederick announced Tuesday that he's starting an initiative called "Nourish to Flourish," which will provide 200 kids, who rely on free/reduced lunches during the school year, a box of food a week over summer break for 10 weeks.
That program will kick off this summer, on June 2, but Frederick's efforts will extend into next school year. He also announced a program called "Travis' Pantry," which will provide assistance to children using schools' free and reduced lunch programs.
"We're going to bring some carts into these schools where it reduces the stigma of getting free and reduced lunch. Sometimes there's separate lines, and it's hard for kids – they don't want to be known as the kids that need help," Frederick said. "So we're going to try to make it a little bit cooler to be having breakfast and being able to have access to these meals."
It's the result of several years of work, and it won't be the last as Frederick continues to expand his efforts in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
"It took a lot of work to get to the point that we have. It started several years ago when I first got here, but it was a matter of trying to get the right connections and find the right people to be able to get this foundation off the ground," he said. "I'm thankful that we have that, and now that we are off the ground, we're finally able to get these pieces moving."