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Preds Wives, Girlfriends Serve to Fight Local Hunger

Group Kicks of Predators Service Period During the Holidays

by Natalie Aronson @NatalieAronson / Corporate Communications Coordinator

On Wednesday morning, the significant others of Nashville Predators players, coaches, broadcasters and hockey operations staff piled into Second Harvest Food Bank with bags of canned and boxed food in their hands.

The women came to volunteer their time to stuff backpacks full of food for children in afterschool programs across Middle Tennessee.

Not only did they enter with 195 pounds of food - which feeds 162 people - they also packed bags for 750 students, meaning this group of 13 women fed 912 people in just two hours.

"Without this food, these kids may not have anything to eat that weekend, and usually they are bringing their backpacks home to share with their family," Senior Vice President of External Affairs for Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee Nancy Keil-Culbertson said. "This food is critically important."

Close to 400,000 people are food-insecure across Middle Tennessee, meaning they do not know where their next meal will come from. Out of the one in seven people affected in this area, one in five of those are children; through the work Second Harvest does on a daily basis, more than 5,200 hungry children will take food home through their BackPack Program each weekend.

The Preds wives and girlfriends packed Ziploc bags with shelf-stable food to guarantee each child would be able to eat all of the food provided. In many cases, these students do not even have a stovetop or microwave at home to prepare meals with.

"We get to give back to this great community we live in and actually see where the food goes that we collect at our drives during the games, which is really special," Kristen Laviolette, wife of Predators Head Coach Peter Laviolette, said.

Wednesday's group was a small fraction of the number of people Second Harvest sees each day. With more than 35,000 volunteers giving their time every year, the nonprofit organization saves close to $2 million in would-be salaries.

"The Nashville Predators fan base is very passionate about our team, and we find it very important to give back to our fans, and that's through volunteering," Nashville Predators Senior Director of Community Relations Rebecca King said. "Any way that we can give back to show our commitment and our passion for our community and our city, we do."

This visit kicked off the team's holiday schedule and will continue next Thursday when the Preds players deliver turkeys and holiday meals to families in need through Nashville Inner City Ministry.

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