Joe Burrow creates foundation to fight poverty and hunger

James Rapien

CINCINNATI — Joe Burrow helped raise over $600,000 during his Heisman Trophy acceptance speech in December. 

Now the 23-year-old is taking it a step farther. He's partnering with the Athens Food Bank and the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio to create the Joe Burrow Hunger Relief Fund. 

The foundation will help fight hunger and poverty in Southeast Ohio.   

"I just want to show as much appreciation to this area as I can," Burrow said in his video announcement. "Food insecurity is something I'm really passionate about. It's something that I've been really thinking about — how I can make an impact on people's lives."

Burrow's timing couldn't be better. Plenty of people need help due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

The Bengals selected Burrow with the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. His maturity and leadership stood out to the organization during the evaluation process.

You talk to anyone at LSU or OSU, and they all love the guy," Bengals head coach Zac Taylor said on draft night. "We’re excited to add him to the building. That’s the type of character we’re trying to add as we grow this thing. He understands the platform he has being the No. 1 pick playing in his home state. He understands the attention that brings and how to handle himself."

Burrow admitted that he didn't expect his Heisman Trophy speech to generate so much money for the community. It's a big reason why he was able to launch this foundation. 

“It was pretty overwhelming," Burrow said in April when asked about the speech. "Especially during this quarantine, I think it really hit me how many people it has helped because a lot of paychecks aren’t coming in right now and that food bank money, that food pantry money is helping a lot of families during this tough time.”

Click here for more on Burrow's new foundation. 

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