For Zach Ertz, Thanksgiving is about showing appreciation.
Since arriving in the desert in October, the Arizona community has embraced the tight end and his wife, Julie, following his trade from Philadelphia.
The Score More n' Feed More campaign is their way of expressing their thanks.
"It's something my wife and I started because we felt the love from the community of Philadelphia," Ertz said. "It was just a way to reciprocate that love, and immediately, when I got traded out here, the response from the community made us want to get involved."
The Ertz family foundation began in 2018 and works to impact others in many ways, including by sharing their faith.
The Athlete’s Corner, a nonprofit organization that works with professional athletes and teams to help families struggling mentally, physically, and spiritually, runs the campaign with the Ertz Family Foundation.
In collaboration, the group provides 5,000 meals for each touchdown the Cardinals score in 2021. The Cardinals, who have a top-five offense in points scored, had three touchdowns on Sunday against the Seahawks (two came from Ertz, which doubles the meal donation). As a result, 25,000 meals will be provided to the local food banks in Arizona with the help of Feeding America.
They have already provided 90,000 meals total.
"Score More n' Feed More has been going amazing," Ertz said. "It's incredible to see the Cardinals and the communities of Arizona rally behind such a great cause. After just three games, we've already been blessed to help provide 65,000 meals, and we still have a long way to go."
This is not the only time the Ertz's have contributed to ending world hunger. Through the "Holiday Touchdowns for Means" initiative in 2020, 2,500 meals were delivered to Philadelphia families in need, and in its entirety 600,000 meals were provided.
Julie – a professional soccer player for the Chicago Red Stars who is from Mesa – starred in a Means n' Medals cause during the summer. It provided 50,000 meals for every goal the United States Women's National Soccer Team scored, and another 50,000 meals for each victory.
In part of creating the campaign in Arizona, Ertz was named the Week 9 NFLPA Community MVP for making a positive impact in his community. The award granted the Ertz family foundation a $10,000 donation to continue making a difference.
Brennen Creer, co-founder and president of Athletes Corner, said families like the Ertzs are crucial to the group's success.
"As we approach the holidays, we are especially grateful for athletes like Zach and Julie Ertz," Creer said. "They are constantly striving to lift others and encourage those who need it most.
"This initiative to help feed families in Arizona provides a glimpse of who Zach and Julie are as people and sets a great example for all of us when it comes to selfless service."