QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) -- Jack Cornell's passion is more than just football.
The Super Bowl champion offensive lineman for the Baltimore Ravens also has a strong desire to defeat hunger in his hometown and Cornell won't stop until the problem is solved.
"It's not a political issue and it's not a religion issue, the other stuff doesn't matter," Cornell said. "It's something everyone can help fix."
Cornell spent Thursday afternoon serving meatloaf to the dozens and dozens of needy individuals at Horizons Soup Kitchen in Quincy.
He signed autographs and he posed for pictures.
But his main focus was helping others.
"It's not easy watching these people come in here. You feel for them," the Quincy native explained.
"You don't pity them but you wish you could just do something more than putting some meatloaf on their plate. Especially when the kids walk in, that's something that if any human being sees that, it definitely pulls some cords."
On average Horizons serves meals to anywhere between 75-120 people Monday through Friday, and survives by financial help and volunteer work.
The organization's executive director Sarah Stephens says getting a hand from someone of Cornell's stature is extremely beneficial.
"When someone like Jack comes and brings a voice to an issue like hunger relief it means so much to an organization like Horizons who is working hard everyday just to keep the doors open," Stephens said.
"It's a real blessing to have him here."
According to Cornell, "It's really awesome just to meet somebody and have them instantly have the best day ever because they met me.
Seeing the joy in a kids face signing an autograph for him, or a mother who's struggling and meeting me, and saying 'I want my kids to be like you,' it makes me to want to fight harder."
Cornell's message is simple and he's challenging others.
He wants to make the more fortunate aware of the less fortunate's struggles when it comes to one of the necessities in life - food.
And like a good football team, Cornell says if people become better teammates with others, the opponent, in this case poverty, will go down to defeat.
"It's not a pass-the-buck thing and let's elect somebody to fix these problems, or let's pray to fix all this stuff," he said.
"Let's go do it and let's take care of it ourselves, because if you want something done right, you've got to go do it yourself."
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WGEM. All Rights Reserved.
Persons with disabilities who need assistance with issues relating to the content of this station's public inspection file should contact Administrative Assistant Kathy Woodworth at 217-228-6617. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, at 888-835-5322 (TTY) or at email@example.com.