‘Passing love,’ Memphis high school football star holds Thanksgiving food giveaway

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Thanksgiving holiday is approaching and there is a need in the city of Memphis both for food and for something to smile about, for many. One of the city’s top high school football stars gave out hundreds of pounds of food to help lift spirits.

At Oak Grove Missionary Baptist Church, hundreds of cars lined up early Saturday morning for a free chicken giveaway. Each box handed out contained 40 pounds of chicken, enough to make any Thanksgiving gathering full this holiday.

Phoenix Moore said he was glad to have a full Thanksgiving after a smaller gathering last year.

“Because of COVID-19 bad things happened,” he said. “But it’s a whole new year this year.”

All of it is sponsored by the family of Braylen Ragland, a junior White Station High School standout quarterback and top college recruit.

“I wanted to play my part passing love,” Ragland said. “I watch the news and social media, and I know the holidays can be a little rough for people, so I wanted to make sure their day can be a little better.”

In total 300 boxes of chicken were given out, making for a special holiday, and bringing cheer on an emotional week that saw the light dim on one of Memphis’ brightest stars, rapper Young Dolph, violently killed Wednesday at a cookie store.

“We wanted to continue,” Ragland said when asked if there was any thought of postponing the event. “It’s very sad. Members of our community loved him; Memphis loved him.”

Moore agreed. “Positivity is always good anywhere,” he said.