Jerry Hughes didn't begin his NFL career with the Buffalo Bills, but the seven seasons the defensive end has spent with the team has made Western New York feel like home for him and his family.
As they isolate with their two children at their offseason home in Houston during the Covid-19 pandemic, Hughes and his wife, Meghan, thought it was a good time to show their appreciation to an area that has treated them well. It comes in two parts, including a donation of $50,000 to the Western New York Covid-19 Community Response Fund, the same group that received a portion of the $1.2 million donation by Pegula Sports and Entertainment.
"We're in some unbelievable times right now," Hughes said Friday. "We feel like, while we're sitting here, any way we could help our community that has always had our backs, that has accepted us since Day One, any way that we could help them, we're always here for them."
The couple is also partnering with the Grange Community Kitchen in Hamburg next week to provide meals to first responders and health care workers. On Wednesday, Hughes and his wife will provide 500 meals to the Buffalo police and fire departments. On Friday, they will provide 500 meals to health care workers at Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital.
"My wife and I just wanted to help those first responders out, those men and women who are sacrificing their lives to help their fellow New Yorkers who are dealing with this virus," Hughes said. "From the fire department down to the doctors and the nurses who are just spending that time, each sacrificing, we just felt like it was the least we could do was to donate some lunch. That way, while they're working, there's another meal that's not on their mind that they have to stress about or think about."