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Food banks in Cleveland and Oakland benefit from NBA Finals

Posted at 4:44 PM, Jun 02, 2017

We are only one game into the NBA Finals, but we already have a clear winner in the series.

As the Cavs and Warriors battle it out on the court, the fight against hunger is getting a big financial boost.

The quest to defend the land is helping people in both cities keep food on the table.

For the third year, the hometown teams have inspired the Food Bank Finals.

"It breaks my heart when I see folks hungry," said Carl Brown.

That's why several times a year you will find Brown at the Greater Cleveland Food Bank helping get food to Clevelanders in need.

"The city is on the move, but you still have folks that basically have a tremendous need, particularly with food," said Brown.

A need that skyrockets this time of year, with the Greater Cleveland Food Bank rolling out 100 additional food sites.

"People don't always realize that when kids are out of school we're helping fill those meals," said Karen Pozna, Greater Cleveland Food Bank.

Right now, the Cavs charge for the championship is helping ensure there are enough meals to meet demand.

"It's a way to have a little fun and help support the community," said Pozna.

Cleveland and Oakland are skipping the traditional mayor's bet, instead encouraging fans of both teams to donate money to their local food banks.

"This rivalry has really become something that fans have come to look forward to both on and off the court," said Pozna.

The collective goal by the end of the series is to raise $100,000.

"I think we will have no problem in meeting the challenge and even going beyond," said Brown.

Akron-based Goodyear is getting in on the finals challenge by matching donations up to $20,000.

“For every dollar donated to the food bank we can provide enough food for four nutritious meals. With this match from Goodyear that doubles up to eight meals so that goes a long way," said Pozna.

Brown is encouraging his fellow Cavs fans to step up to the food bank finals challenge.

"This is a temporary assignment, this thing called life, so try to give what we can," he said.

This Finals challenge comes just as the Greater Cleveland Food Bank wraps its Harvest for Hunger campaign.

The added donations will help the agency try to meet its overall goal of $5.2 million.