Former NBA star Anfernee Hardaway donates 100 meals to needy families in Memphis

Many of these 100 families would still have managed to scrape together a Thanksgiving meal, but now, thanks to Penny Hardaway’s generosity, they can use that money for other necessities, Commercial Appeal reported.

For the third time in the past four years, former Memphis Tiger and NBA star Hardaway donated money to put together holiday meals for 100 families in the Binghamton area.

On Wednesday evening, those families lined up to get a spread that included ham or turkey, dressing, macaroni and cheese, pecan pie, rolls and soft drinks. Each meal was estimated to cost about $100. The families were chosen from various groups that use the Lester Community Center in Binghamton.

“It actually helps out a lot,” said Erin Lane, 34, who will feed a family of four with the meal. “Being a single mom with just a little work, it does help out.”

Added 12-year-old Kayla Freeman: “It helps my mom. We don’t have to buy food.”

She followed that with a personal thank you to Hardaway, who wasn’t able to make the event: “Thank you for doing this for our family.”

Since Hardaway was tied up with a youth basketball team, his mom, Fae, stepped in to help distribute the bags of food to the needy families.

“It feels good to give,” she said. “To see the faces of children, knowing they’re going to be eating turkey or ham and the whole works. This is wonderful.”

For many of these families, there’s so much food that it will last well beyond Thanksgiving, easing the pressures on the pocketbook even more.

“It helps the budget out a lot. This can feed us for three or four days. It helps the budget for next month,” said Gwarvitha Collins, 40, who planned to feed a family of four with the meal.

Of course, that’s not always the case. Take Lane, for example, who has a 14-year-old son who’s already almost 6-foot-4.

“Sometimes, my own child can (eat enough food) equal to three (people),” she said with a laugh.

Anfernee Hardaway spent 14 years in the NBA, appearing in 704 games (558 started), and is remembered for his playing days in Orlando Magic, alongside Shaquille O’Neal. In 1994, the Magic team led by Hardaway and O’Neal reached the NBA Finals.

Hardaway has also been a 4-time NBA All-Star. He averaged 15.2 ppg, 4.5 rpg and 5.0 apg in 33.7 minutes of playing time.


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