MEXIA, Texas — NFL football player and Mexia native Kelvin Beachum returned to his hometown on Friday to give back.
"This is always going to be home, no matter what," he told 25 News. "I always carry the pride of Mexia and Blackcat pride everywhere, everywhere I go."
Beachum partnered with the Central Texas Food Bank to hand out thousands of pounds of food to those in need.
"I understand being below the poverty line," Beachum said. "My first NFL check was more than my parents made in a year together, so> I understand some of the issues and hardships families have this year in the area."
"We love hometown heroes," Sari Vatski, CEO of the Central Texas Food Bank, said. "If it's one thing we know about Texans, it's that they take care of other Texans. It's great that even though kelvin is in Arizona, he comes home and takes care of his community. We know that's a priority for him and here in central Texas we really appreciate that."
Beachum is using his success to help other families who are struggling, like Sarah Richardson.
"I'm so thankful to him," she said. "He's always, always giving back to this community. He's never forgotten where he's came from, and you don't find many people like that these days."
She showed up at 8 a.m. and waited hours to get food for her family.
"It's going to help me out a whole lot," Richardson said. "I'm pregnant, I have him, my mom is elderly and we're struggling. It's going to help out a whole lot."
Richardson was one of the hundreds who showed up for food. She says years of inflation and rising prices has taken a toll.
"We don't really get help around here," she said. "It's a small town and everybody struggles. It's nice to have somebody help around the community."
The food bank said more people showed up than they expected as they continue to see higher need for assistance than ever before.
"Even though we're in a post-covid environment, we're seeing inflation, cost of living, groceries really effect the impact of what families are experiencing," Vatski said.