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Teen lacrosse players score goal in fight against hunger

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Teen lacrosse players score goal in fight against hunger

The two Acalanes High School students, Owen Estee and Zach Appel found a creative way of helping people in need when their lacrosse season was canceled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic

The two lacrosse players launched “Lacrosse Against Hunger,” an initiative through which they can coach other kids in exchange for donations to a local food organization. 

As of now, they have raised over $2000 to get over 2000 meals for agencies that serve the homeless, low-income seniors, teens, and their families. 

“This is a really big, problematic time, where people are in need. Everything’s just a little harder these days,” Appel said. “Helping people out by doing the little things, just like donating a few thousand bucks that can raise actually quite a few meals, really is helpful.”

They teach the basics of Lacrosse for $25 a lesson keeping in mind the Contra Costa County health guidelines. Also, taking care of the social distancing norms, limiting the number of people to train, and wear a mask throughout. 

“It’s such an amazing feeling,” Estee said. “I’ve had parents tell me that their kids call it the highlight of their summer. … It’s something they look forward to every week.”

Through a GoFund me page, they then donate all the money to the White Pony Express, which delivers surplus food from grocers to local community groups that serve the hungry.

“Our aspiration is that we serve without thought of reward. And that’s exactly what Zach and Owen did,” said Eve Birge, executive director at White Pony Express.

“Our deliveries are now three times as big as they were before COVID, so Zach and Owen are helping us keep our doors open.”

The coronavirus pandemic has destabilized the entire system and unleashed a wave of hunger. At White Pony Express, most of the volunteers during the crisis have been teenagers, Birge said. “Young people are really stepping up to answer the call. And Zach and Owen are terrific example of that.”

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