Heisman winner Joe Burrow's speech about poverty in Ohio prompts $160K in donations
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More than $100,000 has been raised for a food pantry in Athens, Ohio, as part of a fundraiser that was started by a local resident after Louisiana State University (LSU) quarterback Joe Burrow discussed the poverty in his hometown during his Heisman Trophy acceptance speech over the weekend. 

The Facebook fundraiser launched by Will Drabold had raised more than $163,132 for the Athens County Food Pantry as of Monday afternoon, more than tripling its initial $50,000 goal.

“Coming from southeast Ohio, it’s a very impoverished area and the poverty rate is almost two times the national average,” Burrow said during his speech on Saturday. “There’s so many people there that don’t have a lot, and I’m up here for all those kids in Athens and Athens County that go home to not a lot of food on the table, hungry after school. You guys can be up here, too."


Athens County has the highest level of poverty in the state, with about 30 percent of residents living below the poverty line, according to a state report released in February. 

The fundraiser’s description quotes Burrow’s speech, and asks supporters to “answer Joey’s call to action” by donating to the food pantry. 

The Athens County Food Pantry thanked donors for their contributions. 

“We are truly overwhelmed by the tremendous outpouring of support we have received to support our mission,” the pantry said on Facebook Monday. 

“Many, many thanks to Joe Burrow for shining a light on food insecurity in our area and a very heartfelt thank you to everyone that has donated,” it added. 

Burrow, a transfer from Ohio State University, is LSU's first Heisman winner in 60 years.