SAN FRANCISCO – Former and current NFL players teamed up with local veterans and their supporters to weed, mulch, plant and build today at the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department’s Alemany Farm.
The San Francisco Recreation and Park Department hosted the day of volunteer service at the city’s largest urban farm. The Huddle for 100 event, the Salute to Service Huddle, was organized by The Mission Continues, the Bob Woodruff Foundation, the NFL, and the 49ers. Activities centered around a healthy lifestyle and fostering a sense of community among local veterans leading up to the 49ers Monday night game on Veteran’s Day. Huddle for 100 is the NFL’s season-long initiative to inspire fans to donate 100 minutes of their time, totaling 100 million minutes in honor of the League’s 100th season.
“Rec and Park has a long history with the 49ers through their former homes at Kezar Stadium and Candlestick Park,” said San Francisco Recreation and Park Department General Manager Phil Ginsburg. “It is wonderful to host them today at Alemany Farm, where they are giving back to a place that does so much to relieve neighborhood food insecurity while instilling a love of gardening among the community.”
49ers offensive lineman Ben Garland and offensive tackle Daniel Brunskill joined NFL Legends Steven Jackson and Donnie Edwards as they worked in the community garden, paved a path for apple trees, built a community information kiosk, planted native species and removed dead trees.
“We were thrilled to bring our Salute to Service Huddle for 100 event to San Francisco and volunteer alongside veterans who have sacrificed so much for our country,” said Anna Isaacson, NFL senior vice president of social responsibility. “Seeing veterans giving their 100 minutes alongside volunteers, NFL players and Legends is awe-inspiring and we’re proud to have made a difference at Alemany Farm today.”
Veterans and civilian volunteers were led by The Mission Continues, a nonprofit organization that connects veterans with under-resourced communities to improve educational resources, increase access to parks and green spaces, foster neighborhood identity, and more. The Mission Continues is a Bob Woodruff Foundation-NFL Salute To Service grantee.
"Veterans find purpose and social connection through volunteer service," said Mary Beth Bruggeman, Marine Corps veteran and president of The Mission Continues, "With their expertise and experience, veterans are uniquely positioned to lead alongside others to rebuild our neighborhoods, accelerate the work that’s already been started, empower underserved communities to feel seen and valued, and rekindle a sense of hope and optimism for the future."
Managed under SF Rec and Park’s Community Gardens Program, Alemany Farm is a 3.5 acre organic farm offers horticulture, volunteer and educational programs. Recreational gardening at Alemany Farm have been recognized for successes in promoting urban agriculture and reducing food insecurity in the neighborhood. The farm regularly hosts free trainings for the community, including in beekeeping and natural landscapes.
About the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department
The San Francisco Recreation and Park Department currently manages more than 220 parks, playgrounds and open spaces throughout San Francisco, including two outside city limits—Sharp Park in Pacifica and Camp Mather in the High Sierras. The system includes full-complex recreation centers, swimming pools, golf courses, sports fields and numerous small-to-medium-sized clubhouses that offer a variety of sports- and arts-related recreation programs for people of all ages. Included in the Department’s responsibilities are Golden Gate Park, Coit Tower, the Marina Yacht Harbor, the San Francisco Zoo and Lake Merced. In 2017, San Francisco became the first and only city in the nation where all residents have access to a park within a 10-minute walk, a direct result of the Department’s commitment to increasing and improving parkland in the city.
About The Mission Continues
The Mission Continues is a national veterans’ organization dedicated to the empowerment of veterans as community-based leaders. The nonprofit invests in veterans and under-resourced communities, developing new skill sets and equipping a growing veteran volunteer movement with the tools to drive positive change. Their programs in 56 cities across the country deploy veteran volunteers alongside nonprofit partners and community leaders to improve educational resources, increase access to parks and green spaces, foster neighborhood identity, and more. Through this unique service model, veterans are provided opportunities for connection and personal growth while generating visible community impact. To learn more, visit http://www.missioncontinues.org or follow us on Twitter at @missioncontinue.
About the Bob Woodruff Foundation
The Bob Woodruff Foundation (BWF) was founded in 2006 after reporter Bob Woodruff was hit by a roadside bomb while covering the war in Iraq. Since then, the Bob Woodruff Foundation has led an enduring call to action for people to stand up for heroes and meet the emerging and long-term needs of today’s veterans. To date, BWF has invested nearly $70 million to Find, Fund and Shape™ programs that have empowered impacted veterans, service members and their family members, across the nation. For more information, please visit bobwoodrufffoundation.org or follow us on Twitter at @Stand4Heroes.
About NFL Huddle for 100
Visit www.nfl.com/huddlefor100 or follow #NFLHuddleFor100 to get involved and learn more about Huddle for 100. Visit www.nfl.com/100 for more information about the NFL100 campaign.