On December 19, Philadelphia Eagles Free Safety Malcolm Jenkins and The Malcolm Jenkins Foundation (TMJF), provided holiday meals for 135 New Orleans families at the Foundation’s 5th Big Easy Holiday Dinner Basket Surprise. The annual event, which helps families prepare a traditional holiday meal by providing a turkey, vegetables, all the trimmings and more, was twice as festive this year, as it took place on the weekend of Jenkins’ birthday.
Reflective of the jersey number (27) that Jenkins wears on the field, TMJF engaged 27 area churches and organizations to each select five families in need of the festive blessing, before distributing the baskets to their communities. Assisting in meal packing and distribution were several students from TMJF’s Project REWARDS program, a collaborative, education-oriented youth development program implemented in partnership with College Track New Orleans, that works to increase high school graduation, college eligibility, college enrollment and graduation rates in under-resourced communities.
“The holiday season is a great time to provide opportunity and inspiration to young people to experience the joy and value of serving others and giving back,” said Gwendolyn V. Jenkins, TMJF President. “Malcolm invests in New Orleans’ young people through programs like Project REWARDS, and following his example, they’re eager to give back to their neighborhood and community through events like our Big Easy Holiday Dinner Basket Surprise.”
Each year since 2011, The Malcolm Jenkins Foundation’s Holiday Dinner Basket Surprise has served hundreds of families in the Greater New Orleans community. Striving to make a sustainable impact on young people and their families in every city in which Jenkins has lived, played, and attended school, the effort expanded to Philadelphia in 2015.