It wasn’t too long ago that Jason Brown had a multimillion-dollar contract to play as a center in the NFL.
So some might find it odd that the North Carolina native and former UNC standout had 40,000 pounds of sweet potatoes dumped on a lawn next to the Chapel Hill campus, as tweets from the university showed Saturday morning.
The explanation: Brown walked away from professional football in 2012 because he wanted to feed the hungry. He bought a thousand-acre farm near Louisburg, and in 2014 his First Fruits Farm made its first donation of sweet potatoes – giving away the entire crop to area food pantries and shelters.
A dump truck poured Brown’s potatoes onto the front lawn of the North Carolina Study Center on Saturday, to be bagged by participants of the second annual Yam Jam event and sent to local food banks.
“If we’re truly going to inspire change, if if we’re truly going to see change in our food system and in ending hunger, we’re going to have to give our best,” Brown said in a video the university tweeted along with Yam Jam updates.
He continued: “More people take interest in saying, ‘Well, hold on a second, why did this NFL player give up his career and all of that money to be a farmer?’ And what it’s caused is, there’s many more First Fruits Farms and and first fruits gardens popping up all over the world, and that’s awesome.”
The North Carolina Study Center is a nonprofit owned and operated by the nonprofit Carolina Christian Study Center, Inc.