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Vikings Partner with UnitedHealthcare for Thanksgiving Meal Distribution

Angela Jones, the mother of Vikings defensive lineman Pat Jones II, walked off the TCO Stadium field and onto the driveway at TCO Performance Center, rocking a full smile and a puffy North Face jacket.

As the mild November sun hit her, she looked up and reached for her coat's zipper.

"Not going to be needing this. I want to see the jersey, anyway," she said with a smile, in reference to her purple No. 91 Vikings jersey with "MOM" on the nameplate.

Angela and Pat joined Vikings Head Coach Kevin O'Connell, Defensive Coordinator Brian Flores and assistant defensive line coach Pat Hill, as well as Chief Operating Officer Andrew Miller for an afternoon of handing out turkeys.

"When I was younger, I used to do stuff like this with my mom. She's here today. She always gets involved in the community. That is something she emphasized a lot," Pat Jones said. "So being able to come out here with her today and do that means a lot."

For a sixth year, the Vikings partnered with UnitedHealthcare for a drive-through-style Thanksgiving meal distribution. Vikings Legends and volunteers from the Vikings and UnitedHealthcare helped distribute more than 1,000 complete Thanksgiving meals to Minnesota families and community groups.


The Jones family, O'Connell, Flores, Hill, and Miller joined Brett Edelson, CEO of UnitedHealthcare Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota, to dish out Thanksgiving kits that included mashed potatoes, vegetables, cranberries, stuffing and a desert.

New this year, Edelson said, is an arts and crafts kit for kids to explore while families prepare their Thanksgiving meals.

"This says a lot about the Vikings. The fact that they're sending Coach O'Connell and their players and their Legends and their cheerleaders, that says a lot about their caring for the community," Edelson said. "The reason why we love working with the Vikings is that they help plan this, they help execute and they send their best to make it happen."

Viktor the Viking, Minnesota Vikings Cheerleaders and the SKOL Line added to the atmosphere as the volunteer group loaded vehicles.

Jones was all smiles spending the day with his mother, helping the community just as she had always raised him to do.

"Thanksgiving is all about being with your loved ones and getting a good meal," he said. "And more importantly, just cherishing the moments you have with your family, loved ones and friends. That's what family is all about."

View photos of Minnesota Vikings players and coaches distribute over 1,000 complete Thanksgiving meals at TCO Performance Center.

Camryn Bynum partners with The Open Door to provide Thanksgiving meals

Vikings safety Camryn Bynum last week hosted a meal-distribution event for Dakota County families.

The Cam Bynum Faith Foundation partnered with The Open Door, a Twin Cities hunger-relief nonprofit, as well as local co-op Valley Natural Foods to provide meals to more than 200 preselected families in need from Burnsville, Eagan and Savage (School District 191) at Burnsville High School. The meals included turkeys and side items for the holiday meal.

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Brandon Powell hosts Thanksgiving turkey distribution for local Boys & Girls Club

Vikings wide receiver Brandon Powell is passionate about giving back and did so most recently in the form of a Thanksgiving turkey distribution. The 28-year-old spent time Nov. 16 at the Jerry Gamble Boys & Girls Club location, where he welcomed families and youngsters who need a little extra support this holiday season.

Powell hosted the event through the Brandon Powell Legacy Foundation, a nonprofit he established this offseason to impact youth in his hometown of Deerfield Beach, Florida, as well as here in the Twin Cities.

"They see you on TV, they look up to you. So why not go hang out with them? Make a difference," Powell said. "Go play basketball, play football with them. Just spend time with them."

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