COMPTON – The Los Angeles Rams partnered with Albertsons/Vons/Pavilions recently in a food drive at Compton Community College to help tackle the hunger issue in impoverished communities. Those communities include South Los Angeles and Compton.
Besides the grocery chain partnership, the Rams have also teamed up with Pepsi as well in the fight against hunger. There was a steady flow of cars driving into the back parking lot of Compton Community College. And for roughly a two-hour period, hundreds of cars made their way through the winding maze of red cones to pick up food.
With Rampage hanging out and meeting and greeting the steady flow of drivers picking up food, Rams defensive lineman Sebastian Joseph-Day as well as team cheerleaders, made for a pleasant afternoon for those seeking food refuge.
Joseph-Day, who is having a pretty decent season thus far with the Rams, came out and volunteered about an hour of his time, passing out goodie boxes, mingling with volunteers and staff, and giving drivers encouraging words as they slowly made their way to pick up the food supplies.
“This is a passion of mine, something that I’ve always wanted to be a part of, ” Joseph-Day said. “A shout out to Pepsi and L.A. Food Bank Regional [ Los Angeles Regional Food Bank[ for hosting this awesome event just to give back to the community.”
This is Joseph-Day’s fourth year playing in the National Football League (NFL). By playing at the highest level in professional football, Joseph-Day has the comfort and prestige that many people would be happy to trade places with. It hasn’t always been this way for Joseph-Day.
His parents are from Haiti, a country ravaged by hunger, political strife, homelessness, and blight. So with experiences that his parents may have gone through, Joseph-Day learned early about the value of helping others and giving back to your community. It was what he was taught.
So participating in a food drive is not about getting a photo-op done. This is a personal journey for Joseph-Day.
“It means a lot to me, personally because…you don’t know me,” Joseph-Day said. “Both of my parents are from Haiti, a third world country. When they came here they had to work really hard for everything they’ve gotten. If you know Haiti, obviously, is not doing too hot right now. My parents always raised me in a way of always giving back and always finding a way to help those in need. So it always hits home for me.”
With the team’s presence in various communities doing charitable work throughout Southern California, Joseph-Day said it brings a connection between the Rams and their fans. But it’s really not all about football, he said.
“At the end of the day, it’s not about the Rams,” Joseph-Day said. “I don’t look at it as being about the Rams. I feel like it’s about people and providing services to our communities. If you happen to be a Ram, it helps to do that and I’ll keep using that platform to help better the community. That’s how I look at it.”