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Penguins Distribute Food In Hill District

by Joe Sager / Pittsburgh Penguins

(Photos) Instead of passing pucks, four Penguins spent Monday afternoon distributing food.

Georges Laraque and Maxime Talbot share a smile while handing out food.

Georges Laraque, Kris Letang, Colby Armstrong and Maxime Talbot took time after practice to pay a visit to the Bedford Dwellings Hope Center in Pittsburgh’s Hill District to pass out onions, potatoes and frozen turkeys to underprivileged families, in partnership with the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.

Participating families were preselected and notified by the Food Bank to receive the food for Thanksgiving family dinners. 

“We’ve been trying to do more and more with the Hill District, as well as the greater Pittsburgh region and this is a great thing to help feed some families who are in need of some turkey,” Penguins President David Morehouse said. “We’re happy to have the opportunity to work along with the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank in providing Thanksgiving dinner to those in need.”

Georges Laraque hands out food while many wait in line.

The players enjoyed handing out the food.

“It’s great to have the chance to come out and give away turkey for people who need it,” Talbot said. “It’s a great feeling to have a chance to come and meet these people. It’s definitely a great thing. They are great people. We had a blast and feeling like we’re doing something good for these people.

“I actually made a girlfriend today,” he continued. “She may have been 40 today, but she was enjoying it. It’s always fun interacting with people. They weren’t here just for turkey, but to meet us.”

Armstrong was glad to help out more members of the community.

“It was great to see the smiles on people’s faces. It was a lot of fun. It was a good day,” he said. “People are big sports fans in this city. It’s great to see the support and I think everyone really enjoyed the day.”

Georges Laraque, Colby Armstrong, Maxime Talbot and Kris Letang load up food for distribution.

Letang was happy to bring smiles to people’s faces.

“It was great to help some people out. We feel great after today that we helped some people,” he said. “When you can put a smile on the face of someone, it’s fun for us to do that.”

Laraque was thrilled to take part in this activity.

“It was awesome with our team to go into this part of the city and help out. We love doing it and we look forward to doing it more,” he said. “Everybody was smiling and why not? It was a great day. This day was not about hockey, it was about helping people and everyone was so respectful, so that makes it that much more fun to be a part of.”

Georges Laraque, Colby Armstrong and Maxime Talbot hand out food.

The food distribution was another activity the Penguins and the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank teamed up to complete.

“When people like the Penguins use their visibility for a cause like this, we’re so grateful at the food bank. The food bank serves about 120,000 people a year, so anything the Penguins can do to come out here and help some people have a good Thanksgiving, it’s great,” said Iris Valanti, Public Relations Coordinator for the food bank. “The Penguins host an annual food drive for us every year and every year and it gets bigger and better. The Penguins are great community partners.”

The team successfully kicked off its holiday season community initiatives on Nov.7 with a record-breaking pre-game food drive at Mellon Arena benefiting the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. The drive eclipsed all previous collection totals with over 3,700 pounds of food and over $3,500 in cash donations.

Some of the food that was handed out Monday.

The Penguins organization will also publish a Penguins Family Cookbook “Goal Scorers & Gourmets” in early December featuring favorite player recipes with proceeds from each book benefiting the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.

Additional upcoming team holiday initiatives benefiting local charities include a team visit to Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, the annual “Toys for Tots” toy collection on Nov. 30, the Penguins Wives Holiday Online Auction, the season ticket holders’ holiday photo sessions and a holiday ornament sale with the Penguins Booster Club.

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