|Vikings DE Everson Griffen shows off his serving skills at Monday's fundraiser to feed needy kids.
(Photo courtesy of Minnesota Vikings)
It’s not just anywhere that you can see Vikings 6-foot-8 right tackle Phil Loadholt serving cupcakes.
But Loadholt was doing just that at the 3rd Annual Taste of the Vikings event at the Mall of America on Monday night. Loadholt and his teammates hosted close to 1,200 people who wandered through Nickelodeon Universe to help raise money for the Vikings Children’s Fund Summer Lunch Program.
The Vikings Children’s Fund Summer Lunch Program was founded in 2008 with the purpose of addressing childhood hunger in Minnesota. Through coordinated efforts with Second Harvest Heartland, the program (which has become nationally recognized) helps provide meals to children in need during the summer months when they are out of school.
“This is the main driver of our summer lunch program,” said Jeff Anderson, Vikings director of corporate communications. “Over the last three summers, we’ve served over 2.5 million meals to underserved children in the Twin Cities. So this goes a long way in providing funds for that program."
Underneath a SpongeBob SquarePants roller coaster, TE Kyle Rudolph served a delicious plate of meatloaf and mash potatoes from Twin City Grill. Not far away, RB Adrian Peterson and QB Christian Ponder posed for pictures with fans. And around the next corner, a line of people waited to get an autographed football from RB Toby Gerhart.
“This is my favorite event to go that we put on,” Gerhart said. “It’s really special, we get a chance to interact with the fans, and at the same time we’re serving food for a very good cause. It’s just a blast -- it’s a good event.”
Gerhart expressed some concern that this event was right before Thanksgiving and he had to weigh-in this week at Winter Park. Loadholt, who hadn’t yet tried any of the cupcakes he was serving, didn’t share that concern.
“As soon as my shift is over,” he said with a big smile on his face, “I’m digging in!”
For more Vikings news and notes, follow Joe Oberle on Twitter @CBSVikings and @joeoberle.