Cleveland Browns Victory a Big Win for Local Food Bank

Have no doubts about it – the Cleveland Browns victory over the San Diego Chargers on Christmas Eve energized a city and faithful Browns fans across the nation – and is adding much-needed money to the Greater Cleveland Food Bank.

It’s appropriate that donations initially raised by Chris McNeil, Reflog_18 on social media, for a Perfect 0-16 Parade, will instead go to the Greater Cleveland Food Bank, an organization that receives the support of the Cleveland Browns team and many of its players throughout the years. The planned parade, intended to demonstrate fans’ frustrations with the poor record of the franchise since its return to Cleveland in 1995, was canceled immediately after the team’s first win of the 2016-2017 NFL season on Dec. 24, 2016.

With the parade canceled amid the jubilation of the Cleveland Browns first win of the season in Week 16 of regular season play, O’Neil chose to use the parade donations, about $5,200 on December 24, to the Greater Cleveland Food Bank. A website dedicated to the Perfect 0-16 Parade, created by McNeil, had also solicited contributions to the food bank. In total, donations for parade-related expenses totaled about $10,000, to which the Cleveland Browns added another $10,000, giving the Greater Cleveland Food Bank a total of $20,000 in donations thanks to just one Cleveland Browns victory.

That’s not the end of the good news for the food bank, either. ESPN Cleveland’s radio show host Mark Bishop had taken to social media to say the food bank should refuse to take the donation from the parade-planners, who he labeled “losers.” Perhaps the Browns’ donation-in-kind to the food bank helped to change Bishop’s mind, or he had a change of heart for another reason because the radio host later admitted he was wrong and that he would raise an additional $10,000 himself in donations for the food bank.

McNeil is holding Bishop to it, keeping a running total of donations as Bishop acquires them via a chart that shows the radio host has brought in $7,000 of his total goal thus far.

A victory for the Cleveland Browns in their 20-17 win over the San Diego Chargers on Christmas Eve and nearly $30,000 raised in donations for the Greater Cleveland Food Bank – try as some might to paint McNeil as a loser, he has done much for Browns fan morale in a season when a sense of humor was sorely needed and even more for those who without the food bank would go hungry.

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