ATLANTA -- President of Basketball Operations/Head Coach Mike Budenholzer announced today plans to partner with the Atlanta Community Food Bank and launch an Assists for Hunger Program during the 2016-17 season. Budenholzer has pledged to donate $15 for every assist the Hawks record during the regular season this season with a final minimum contribution of at least $25,000.
During his three years as head coach of the Hawks, Budenholzer’s team has averaged 25.4 assists per game, the second-highest average in the league during that period. The Hawks have led the Eastern Conference in assists during each of those seasons.
In Georgia currently, nearly 19% of Georgia’s population is food insecure, meaning they do not have the financial resources to access enough nutritious food to live a healthy life. That figure includes more than one in every four Georgia children and one in every 10 seniors.
“As I learned more about the important work that the Food Bank was doing and how dire the need was in our state, I became moved to act. I believe each of us can make a difference and can help to eradicate hunger right where we live,” Budenholzer said. “Playing unselfish basketball is a core component of our basketball culture and high assist totals are a great indicator that we are playing the right way. With the Assists for Hunger program, they will take on an even more significant meaning this season.”
The Food Bank procures and distributes close to 70 million pounds of food and grocery products each year, and distributes that product to more than 600 nonprofit partner agencies with food assistance programs across 29 metro Atlanta and north Georgia counties.
"This is an amazing opportunity, especially in partnership with a team that outshines the competition when it comes to assists and great basketball," said Kyle Waide, President and CEO of Atlanta Community Food Bank. "Hunger remains a critical issue for many of the working families, children and seniors in our community and we are so grateful for such an incredible showing of support from Coach Bud and the entire Hawks team. It makes a difference in so many lives."
Those interested in donating to ACFB can find out more here.
Every $1 donated to ACFB helps provide four meals for hungry children, hardworking families and struggling seniors.
Budenholzer, the 2014-15 NBA Coach of the Year, and the Hawks tip-off the 2016-17 season on Thursday against the Washington Wizards at 7:30 p.m. at Philips Arena.