Green Bay Packers defensive end Aaron Kampman ate chicken and wild rice soup on Tuesday night. On Wednesday he dealt with soup in much larger quantities.
Kampman and running back Chaz Williams helped distribute 16,000 cans of Campbell's Chunky soup to those in need at Paul's Pantry in Green Bay, Wis. The soup donation, which equaled the approximate weight of the entire Packers roster, also recognized the fanaticism of Packers fans.
To help food banks in the local community, NFL fans voted online for their favorite team. Packers supporters voted 269,000 times, beating their nearest competitor, the Pittsburgh Steelers, by more than 31,000 votes to win the Campbell's Chunky soup "Click for Cans" competition for the fourth consecutive year.
"That's pretty awesome," Kampman said.
Green Bay Major Jim Schmitt attended the event, which also celebrated the 22nd anniversary of Paul's Pantry's -- a food center for the disadvantaged -- and kicked off the sixth annual "From the Heart Food Drive." Schmitt spoke glowlingly of the Packers' involvement in helping local residents.
"The city is known for the Green Bay Packers," Schmitt said. "It's an organization that gives back to the community and cares deeply about the community. This is a perfect example today."
Kampman and Williams placed individual cans in the shopping carts of needy patrons. Most people stopped to chat, ask for autographs or wish them good luck in the 2006 season. They were floored to greet Packers players.
"It means a lot," said Craig Robbins, director of Paul's Pantry. "These are people who would not normally get the chance to meet a Green Bay Packer."
Williams, signed as undrafted free agent last year, wished that athletes made that type of contribution in his hometown of Apoka, Fla.
"I was in different recreations and stuff like that, and I never got a chance to see different NFL players come in and do certain things," Williams said. "So I always said if I got the chance to make the NFL, I would help out."
Williams did just that. But the Wednesday afternoon community service event proved just as meaningful for Williams and Kampman. They grinned broadly while socializing with Paul's Pantry patrons and their children.
"The funny thing is they think they get a lot out of it," Kampman said. "But in the end, I'll get just as much out of it as they will."