This past year has been a year of incredible growth for Travis Frederick as a philanthropist and for his foundation, The Blocking Out Hunger Foundation. Despite missing last season due to medical setbacks, Travis remained committed as ever to community outreach. In May, Travis unveiled his third 'Travis' Pantry' at Martin Weiss Elementary in Dallas. This school is home to 548 students, 96% of which qualify for the free and reduced lunch program. Now with Travis' Pantry in place, these students have access to nutritional nonperishable food and fresh produce to bring home on weeknights and weekends. Travis also continued the Nourish2Flourish program, which provided 3,250 Dallas-area students with boxes of meals to keep them nourished over winter, spring and summer breaks from school. To broaden the impact of this program, Travis is implementing a new Thanksgiving Break initiative to ensure that students remain fed over the course of their week-long break in November.
This Blocking Out Hunger Foundation anticipates providing more than 10,000 meals over through the new Thanksgiving initiative. Travis has also been heavily involved in raising funds for hunger relief in the Dallas area. His third-annual Celebrity Top Golf event in May raised $102,500 for hunger relief programs, while his fourth annual Steak-Out for Hunger in October raised over $258,000. He even partnered with the Off the Rails Country Music Festival this past spring, which raised an additional $27,800. Travis is a longtime host and supporter of the Dallas Cowboys Taste of the NFL local event - Taste of the Cowboys. With his help in leading the Offensive Line as hosts, the Cowboys have been able to raise more than $3 million for the North Texas Food Bank and provide 9 million meals to hungry children in North Texas. Lastly, as a personal commitment to his community outreach, Travis has pledged a $20,000 donation to his foundation this year. All of this activity has led to an extremely productive and impactful year of community outreach for the star Center of the Cowboys.
Over the course of his seven-year career in professional football, Travis has been one of the most active athletes in the community. During his first several years in the league, Travis spent significant amount of time volunteering with the team at various hunger relief initiatives, spending his free time passing out meals in Dallas. In 2016, Travis launched his own charity based around childhood hunger, the Blocking Out Hunger Foundation. Since founding his charity, Travis implemented a pair of ongoing community outreach programs and has impacted more than 70,000 in-need individuals suffering from severe hunger. Prior to 2019, Travis launched a pair of his signature 'Travis' Pantries' – one at Trinity Basin Preparatory Academy in 2017 and another at Dr. Linda Henrie Elementary in 2018. These two Pantries treat 360 eligible students to ongoing meals that they can take home to feed their families on weeknights and weekends. These Pantries offer fresh produce and nonperishable food stuffs and are regularly restocked for the schools. Additionally, Travis held five seasonal initiatives of his traditional Nourish2Flourish program, feeding more than 3,163 low-income students for weeks at a time during ongoing breaks from school. Thousands of meals have been distributed seasonally through this program. Travis also held a bike giveaway at Christmas time in 2016 and helped to deliver enough food to serve 50,000 in-need individuals at the Tarrant County Food Bank. Prior to 2019, Travis has also held five separate fundraising events to raise money supporting hunger relief in Dallas. His two Celebrity Top Golf programs in 2017 and 2018 raised $164,000 and his three Steak-Out for Hunger events dating back to 2016 collectively raised $714,000. To top it all off, Travis has donated north of $73,000 since beginning his foundation, excluding his $20,000 commitment in 2019.
Through the Nourish2Flourish program, the Blocking Out Hunger Foundation has been able to provide over 102,500 meals to 6,413 children. This excludes the upcoming Thanksgiving Initiative, which will add an additional 10,000 meals to that total. The number of meals distributed through Travis' Pantry equates to 156,180. These Pantries are restocked every couple of weeks to ensure the children have access to fresh produce – something that is not always prevalent in inner-city communities. Not every child in the school is granted access to the Pantries, just those with the greatest need. However, they take the food home and are able to eat it over the weekend, when their meals would normally be sparse. Lastly, Frederick continues to be involved with community outreach outside of his own foundation, proving he is multi-dimensional with his philanthropy. For multiple years, Frederick as one of the key Cowboys representatives at the annual Taste of the NFL, further showcasing his love for giving back through hunger relief programs.
Throughout his career, Travis has consistently demonstrated positivity in character. However, it has never been more on display than in the past twelve months. Prior to the start of the 2018 NFL season, Travis was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome, a rare disorder that leaves some individuals permanently paralyzed. With the threat of losing the ability to walk – much less never playing football again – in front of him, Travis demonstrated a massive commitment to beating the disease and continuing his career. In less than twelve months, Travis made a full recovery from his near-paralyzing injury and was back on the field for the start of the 2019 season, performing at his usual pro-bowl level. His commitment, fortitude and positive attitude of never giving up serves as a source of motivation for others facing similar circumstances. His story inspires anyone to beat the odds.
Furthermore, his commitment to giving back to others never wavered, despite his own personal setbacks and challenges. He continued supporting the community by launching two new Travis' Pantries during his recovery period and furthering his Nourish2Flourish program along. While most people would have used this disorder to withdrawal, Travis used it as an opportunity to become even more invested in his philanthropy. Travis has also modeled a lifestyle of giving back throughout his entire life. Growing up in Wisconsin, he noticed many of the hunger issues that plague Texas now were also prevalent in his hometown. He grew up with the awareness of how severe and crippling the issue of childhood hunger can be, and he committed to using his platform as an NFL star to address this very problem in his new home of Dallas. Whether it be through volunteering on various hunger relief programs in community as a younger player or running his own community outreach programs this the Blocking Out Hunger Foundation, Travis has demonstrated through his career a passion and lifestyle of charity. The fact that this is now the second time he has been nominated for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award is indicative of the type of person he's modeled himself after.