15 Athletes Who Are Changing the Way We Eat Slideshow

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Food Tank gives a nod to all the athletes who are champions on and off the court
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Started in 2010, the 2013 Muhammad Ali Center Peace Garden Grant offers 50 gardening award packages to schools, including $400 in gardening supplies and $100 for soil amendments and plants. The program is funded by Yum! Brands Foundation

Muhammad Ali, former boxer, United States

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Started in 2010, the 2013 Muhammad Ali Center Peace Garden Grant offers 50 gardening award packages to schools, including $400 in gardening supplies and $100 for soil amendments and plants. The program is funded by Yum! Brands Foundation

Roberto Baggio, former football player, Italy

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Baggio has been a U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Goodwill Ambassador since 2002. He also supports the organization Professional Football Against Hunger, a non-profit organization that works to fight hunger and malnutrition. 

David Beckham, former football player, United Kingdom

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In 2005, Beckham became a U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Goodwill Ambassador, a role he takes as seriously as soccer (er, football). In 2008, he helped launch the UNICEF 2008 State of the World’s Children Report. And in 2012, he and other athletes petitioned U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron to address childhood hunger during the Olympic Games. 

Raul Gonzalez Blanco, football player, Spain

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Another FAO Goodwill Ambassador, Blanco has supported field projects in Senegal and Chad. Also like Baggio, he supports the Professional Football Against Hunger campaign.

Luol Deng, basketball player, Sudan

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The Luol Deng Foundation works in the Chicago, the UK, and Sudan, aiming to provide basic human essentials to those in need. Deng, a Sudan native, has partnered with the U.N. World Food Programme (WFP) to bring attention to troubles in Sudan. 

Mo Farah, Olympic distance runner, United Kingdom

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The Mo Farah Foundation works to help those facing starvation in East Africa. The organization was started by Farah and his wife, Tania, and provides emergency response food distribution, water and sanitation programs, and health and medical programs, amongst others. 

Martina Navratilova, former tennis player and coach, Czech Republic

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Navratilova serves as AARP’s Fitness Ambassador and regularly contributes to the AARP website, writing about everything from super foods to gluten-free diets. She also creates videos to encourage healthy lifestyles.  

New York Islanders, hockey team, United States

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This team has repeatedly worked with the Long Island food bank Island Harvest to put together the organization’s holiday food drive. Island Harvest is Long Island’s largest hunger relief organization and became more needed than ever after Hurricane Sandy.  

New York Yankees, baseball team, United States

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The New York baseball team sponsors The Healthy Home Plate Program, a program designed to teach the rising generation, specifically those ages 12 to 15, how to incorporate healthy, affordable meals into their everyday lives.  

Rugby World Cup Sevens, rugby championship, international

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The campaign Tackle Hunger has been a joint effort of the WFP and the International Rugby Board for a decade now. The effort seeks to engage sports fans everywhere to fight hunger worldwide. 

Paul Tergat, long distance runner, Kenya

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Tergat grew up to be a champion runner for Kenya, but growing up in poverty as a child, he regularly suffered from hunger. At age eight, he benefited from the WFP school meals program, and today, he serves as a WFP Ambassador Against Hunger.

Lamarr Woodley, American football player, United States

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Woodley supports the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank for the annual Thanksgiving turkey giveaway, and is inspiring his teammates to do the same. Said Woodley on the effort, “You always have to give back to the people who are unfortunate.” 

Shannon Miller, former gymnast, United States

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Miller actively partners with the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation, which aims to reduce obesity, particularly childhood obesity by 2015. 

Paul Pierce, basketball player, United States

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Pierce’s foundation, The Truth on Health, promotes healthy eating and an active lifestyle. To connect to fans and inspire people to work out, the campaign’s website sets forth the FitClub34 All-Star Challenge: “work out like a Celtic!” 

John Salley, former basketball player, United States

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Salley is a notable advocate of a plant-based diet. His four NBA championships were all won on a vegetarian diet. He has even led nutrition lectures on cruises as a way to teach people how to improve their diets and lifestyles.