KEARNS, Utah — The head football coach at Kearns High School is making sure all his players have adequate nutrition.
Coach Matt Rickards normally distributes food after practice to kids whose families may be in need.
But he hasn't had that same chance this week because the team was on a moratorium and no practices were held. So to make up for it, Rickards invited them to come pick up the food Friday afternoon.
Rickards said it's extra important to make sure the youth on his team are fed properly to fuel the intense training and competition they go through.
"To compete at a high level, to practice and train at the high level that we do," the coach said, "if you don't have that type of nutrition, that could be detrimental."
The food, which ranges from dairy and vegetables to snacks and frozen dinners, is mostly donated by a client of Rickards' wife.
Rickards said that while food insecurity has been an issue for some in the Kearns community for some time, there has been an increased need over the past year or so due to the COVID-19 pandemic and job losses that came with it.
He's been giving the kids food to take home to their families for a few weeks, and he has no plans to stop doing so.
"As long as the kids are willing to take it and the families are willing to take it and there's a need for it, then we'll keep it going," he said.
Rickards also said the school's athletic trainer has also talked about starting a food pantry in her office so kids can get food whenever they need.