Bengals QB Joe Burrow launches foundation to help families in Ohio, Louisiana

Credit: Tony Gutierrez

Credit: Tony Gutierrez

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow had been talking about starting a foundation since his 2019 Heisman speech drew attention to funds he was raising to support the Athens County Food Bank.

On Tuesday, he announced the launch of the Joe Burrow Foundation, a nonprofit foundation he is starting along with his parents, Robin and Jimmy Burrow, to help meet the needs of families who are working to overcome food insecurity and childhood mental health issues.

The Joe Burrow Foundation will provide resources and support to the underprivileged and underserved in Ohio and Louisiana.

“I believe that everyone has a responsibility to do good,” Burrow said in a press release. “This Foundation allows me and my family to give back. So many of you made generous contributions to support food insecurity in Athens County, Ohio following my 2019 Heisman Trophy speech. We will build on our efforts to tackle food insecurity by also finding ways to offer up support in Greater Cincinnati, other parts of Ohio, Baton Rouge and Louisiana. My mom, a lifetime educator, experiences firsthand the effect of mental health issues on children and their families. We want to make a difference here as well.”

In Burrow’s Heisman acceptance speech, he shared his experience growing up in a community where many classmates and neighbors didn’t know where their next meal was going to come from, putting a spotlight on a county struggling with a nearly 20% rate of food insecurity. The remarks from the then-LSU quarterback prompted an outpouring of generosity, with gifts flooding into the Athens County Food Pantry based in Joe’s hometown.

That led to the creation of the Joe Burrow Hunger Relief Fund, made possible with $350,000 from the many thousands of gifts inspired by Burrow’s speech. Each gift donated was matched dollar-for-dollar by the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio, bringing the initial investment in the Fund to $700,000.

While the Joe Burrow Hunger Relief Fund lives on through the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio, Burrow had said after the draft that he intended to start his own foundation. Burrow will serve as president of the Joe Burrow Foundation’s executive board, Robin Burrow will serve as secretary and treasurer, and Jimmy Burrow will serve as vice president.

Business and community leaders from Greater Cincinnati, Athens and Baton Rouge have committed to serving on the Joe Burrow Foundation Board of Directors and Advisory Board.

“Words can’t express how proud we are of Joe and his many talents,” Jimmy Burrow said in the release. “His commitment to improving the lives of those who are less fortunate is especially meaningful to our family.”

Added Robin Burrow: “As an elementary school teacher and principal, I see kids grow and succeed every day. I also recognize the stress and challenges that students and their families face. We are committed to bringing people and resources together to help make a difference. We hope you can join us along the way.”

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