Players, dignitaries help feed hungry as part of NBA All-Star efforts in SLC

Feb 17, 2023, 6:55 PM | Updated: Feb 18, 2023, 3:33 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — The NBA All-Star celebration is more than just a game for the league, its players, and many of the fans. Several teams of volunteers rolled up their sleeves Friday to assist our community with a day of service.

Right now, nearly 300,000 Utahns don’t know where their next meal is coming from. That’s why NBACares volunteers helped out on this 15th Annual day of service at the Utah Food Bank, the Bishop’s Central Storehouse, and Volunteers of America.

“We get a chance to give back to those families and help them get on their feet,” former Jazz forward Carlos Boozer said at the Utah Food Bank.

More than 500 NBA volunteers, including current players and legends, re-packed and sorted food donations to distribute to low income students and families that really need this help right now. Boozer said it’s important to him to help families that are struggling, and to give back to the community.


“I am honored to be here. I think there are so many families out there that don’t have good nutrition. They don’t get food.  They don’t get three square meals a day. There are so many families that will donate cans and different things, water, to help those less fortunate,” he said. 

Jazz great Carlos Boozer joined more than 500 NBA volunteers to pack and organize food at Utah food banks on Friday, Feb. 17, 2023. (KSL TV) Jazz great Carlos Boozer joined more than 500 NBA volunteers to pack and organize food at Utah food banks on Friday, Feb. 17, 2023. (KSL TV)

During the pandemic, the annual distribution of food from the Utah Food Bank nearly doubled and the demand hasn’t let up.

“It’s a huge opportunity for us to enlist help to do what we have to do to feed the hungry folks of Utah,” said Ginette Bott, president and CEO of the Utah Food Bank.

NBA legends Dominique Wilkins and Sam Perkins came by to lend a hand for a few hours.

At the Bishop’s Storehouse location volunteers included current player Buddy Hield, Utah Gov. Spencer Cox, former Utah Jazz owner Gail Miller, Elder Rasband from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, NBA legend Dwayne Wade, former Jazz guard Deron Williams and 13-season NBA veteran Jason Collins, among others.

“They’re helping us prepare. They’re helping us in Utah,” Bott said. “But they’re also learning they can go back to their hometown, to their community and help that fight against hunger where they live.“

Jay Stark is visiting from New York for NBA All-Star weekend and was among the large team of volunteers serving in our community. 

“We’re so lucky to be part of this and to be able to travel and have these great fun weekends,” Stark said. “But it would be missing the point to not recognize how lucky we are. So to be able to help out the local communities as we do that really makes the weekend that much more impactful and meaningful for all of us.“

People can always help the Utah Food Bank in three different ways by donating our time, donating food, or donating money.

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Players, dignitaries help feed hungry as part of NBA All-Star efforts in SLC