DETROIT (WWJ) – Trying to help tackle hunger across the metro area, the Detroit Lions held their first-ever “Taste of the Lions” charity event at Ford Field Tuesday night.
Fans paid $150 each to meet Lions players while sampling some of the best food from over two dozen area restaurants.
Among those on hand was Lions wide receiver Nate Burleson, who said “When you’re talking about feeding people, that’s pretty much self-explanatory.”
Burleson said part of being an outstanding player in the NFL is the committment they have to improving their communities.
“We sign up to play football, but we also sign up for the city that we live in. We want to be able to give back so when we leave, we leave footprints on places that we have helped, and this is one of those causes,” he said.
Lions’ veterans also made appearances at the event. Former offensive tackle Lomas Brown said he wouldn’t have missed the event for anything.
“It is so important for people to step up and help those that can’t help themselves, especially children. No person should go unfed,” he said.
Former defensive back Lem Barney said the event is so important, he hopes the Lions organization holds Taste of the Lions every year.
“They started with similar ‘Taste’ events at the Super Bowl three years ago. For the amount of people here tonight, it shows this can be a big deal here in the city of Detroit. So, I’m hoping this can become an annual event,” he said.
Many fans were also happy to support the cause.
“I went and scraped up the money to come. The fact that it’s going to people who are hungry, I feel good,” said Charlie Strelecki of Royal Oak.
While others, like 10-year-old Tyler Terbruggen of Madison Heights, said it was a dream come true to meet their favorite football stars.
“Calvin Johnson is amazing! I had the chance to meet him and it was phenomenal,” he said.
Proceeds from the event benefit “Living for the City” partner Eastern Market and their fight against Detroit’s food access crisis.