Dolphins Take In-Need Families On Shopping Spree At Publix

Posted Jul 10, 2013

Players take local families food shopping in association with the Cooperative Feeding Program.


On Tuesday, the Dolphins and Publix partnered to give a few in-need families the opportunity to shop with a Fin.

With a $250 gift card courtesy of Publix in hand, Dolphins safety Reshad Jones and linebacker Philip Wheeler were introduced to local families, whom they then took on an all-inclusive shopping spree. They could fill up their carts with anything they needed – nothing was off limits.

The event was held in association with the Cooperative Feeding Program (LifeNet4Families), a Broward-based charity that aims to help provide assistance to hungry South Florida families and the homeless population. Alima Garba, the coordinator of client services at LifeNet4Familes, handpicked some of her clients to participate in the event.

Families will approach Garba, seeking ways to put food on the table. She, in turn, helps counsel them and works to come up with a plan of action, tailored for an individual family.

An event like this one is a big help, though, because it helps a family stock up.

“This is an extraordinary event,” Garba said. “Our clients are born and raised here in Miami and in Ft. Lauderdale, so they’re big fans of the Miami Dolphins. To meet their favorite players and then to also be able to be supplied with an abundance of food that they need, it’s a very awesome thing.”

Jones led his family up and down the aisles, grabbing essentials like oatmeal and Gatorade. By the time they made to the other end of the supermarket, their shopping cart was nearly overflowing with groceries.

The fourth-year safety’s experiences growing up in Atlanta are a huge reason he feels compelled to get involved and lend a helping hand.

“It’s a blessing to be in this position, to come out here and help these families and make these families smile, just take time out to help them get things that they need,” said safety Reshad Jones. “I’ve always been a guy to give back, because I came from that kind of situation and I know how hard it is to come up. I was raised by my grandmom and granddad, so I know what it takes to get here.”

Wheeler, who signed with the Dolphins this offseason, is now on his third stop in the NFL, previously spending time in Oakland and Indianapolis, via Georgia Tech.

He may be new to the area, but he’s already embracing the South Florida community, looking for ways he can positively influence the people he meets.

“Even though I’m not from this community, it’s always good to help other people because this is where I’m living and this is where I can help.”

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