clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Travis Frederick’s fight against childhood hunger reached new levels during the coronavirus pandemic

They don’t make a lot of people like the former Dallas Cowboys center

Dallas Cowboys v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

2021 marks the second season that the Dallas Cowboys are entering with Travis Frederick officially having retired from the NFL, and there is no question that they miss their former center.

Frederick was among the league’s best centers during his time in the NFL. He missed the 2018 season after it was revealed that he had Guillain-Barré syndrome (an autoimmune disease that affects the nervous system), and he persevered to the point that he returned in 2019 before ultimately calling it a career.

As we all know, Travis was an incredible football player but while every snap was happening, while every block was being perfect executed, he was also accomplishing a lot off of the field.

Travis has been very vocal about his fight against childhood hunger and last year he spoke with us here at BTB about what his foundation, Blocking Out Hunger, was doing in the early days of COVID-19.

“It was first started to bridge the gap between all the generosity of the people in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and the tremendous need that [we are] facing because of childhood hunger … it is something that we can do something about, so we created the foundation to bridge that gap and help people get those funds to the kids in need,“ Frederick told us in our April 2020 podcast interview. “With what I know about hunger and how closely it is tied to schools — when I heard that with COVID-19, the schools were going to be closed, it immediately went into my head that the children weren’t going to be receiving those meals. We had the programs in place for breaks that were scheduled, but I knew this was going to be unprecedented.

“I gathered up a group of my teammates and coaches … we put together a matching pool of $47,000 so that when people from outside donated, we were able to match that number to help feed kids … we’ve been trying to move quickly and expeditiously to get food into the hands of kids who need it.”

(As a point of reference, $2 provides enough food for a child for a full day and $25 feeds a child for two full weeks.)

We have never known Travis Frederick to be someone to approach anything with less than full force, which is how he has worked towards giving back to his community and the surrounding areas — especially when the pandemic meant that more parents were out of work, and more children were home from school and going hungry. It is admirable to see how he has continued to work in this capacity even after his playing time with the Dallas Cowboys came to a close.

For more on his admirable cause, here is his foundation’s mission statement:

The Blocking Hunger Foundation was founded in 2017 as a direct way to fight the childhood hunger crisis in Dallas and surrounding communities. Children struggling to eat are more likely to have problems in school and other social situations. Our foundation focuses on addressing childhood hunger to ensure that each child has the opportunity to grow into a thriving adult.

The Blocking Hunger website explains that in the Dallas area alone, 1.4 million children face severe hunger on a daily basis; 9 out of 10 households are considered “food insecure;” and 64% of Dallas public school students are eligible for free or reduced school lunches.

Now that schools are back in-person across the state, Travis’ Pantries provide kids with a fully-stocked pantry in their school so they can fill bags with food and produce. Children then take those bags of food home with them to ensure they have a next meal before school the next day or over the weekend.

Players like Frederick don’t just stroll through an organization like the Dallas Cowboys and exit without leaving a mark. This is the kind of player who leaves a legacy that will hopefully continue to grow in the days that Frederick is no longer in the locker room.

This is evidenced by the fact that Travis’ heir at the center position, Tyler Biadasz, also a Wisconsin alum like Frederick, has taken it upon himself to continue in the fight against childhood hunger. Recently Biadasz joined the foundation’s board.

We always want to highlight the good work that players like Travis Frederick, Tyler Biadasz, and others are doing while serving as ambassadors for the Dallas Cowboys. Here’s to the impact that they are making.

You can donate to Travis’ foundation here.