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When COVID-19 ended the Atlanta Hawks’ season in mid-March, the players and coaches weren’t the only ones sidelined prematurely.

John Collins jumped into COVID-related food relief after his NBA season ended early.
John Collins jumped into COVID-related food relief after his NBA season ended early.

More than 1,100 part-timers in jobs from concessions to security also were benched, losing 15 games’ worth of income just as other service industry jobs disappeared.

The Hawks Foundation and star power forward John Collins responded by working with State Farm and an Atlanta-based environmental technology start-up, Goodr, to provide pop-up grocery stores for those workers and other Atlantans hurt by the pandemic shutdown. Goodr helps businesses track, manage and donate surplus food to people in need to reduce waste.

Each of up to 500 families attending a pop-up received about 20 pounds of produce, meat and nonperishables. The Hawks Foundation and State Farm supported six Goodr pop-ups, then Collins joined them in donating to a second phase of four events.

The second phase delivered the equivalent of more than 63,000 meals across the four pop-ups in May, one of which targeted the people who lost work with the Hawks and State Farm Arena.

“It has been an honor to work with Goodr during these unprecedented times,” says Collins, who averaged career bests of 21.6 points and 10.1 rebounds per game in the 2019-20 season before volunteering time to the Goodr project. “The work they accomplish in communities across the country is needed now more than ever, and I am beyond grateful to contribute to that impact.”

Collins says he hopes his role in the anti-hunger partnership inspires others to help people in need.



photo: Courtesy of Atlanta Hawks

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