Chris Canty was near tears when talking about the anger, frustration and disappointment he felt following the loss to the Eagles on Sunday night. But on Tuesday evening, the Giants’ defensive tackle was smiling widely.
Canty and several teammates were at the Food Bank for New York City in West Harlem helping unload turkeys and serving meals to those with problems that go far beyond not being able to run the football or sack the quarterback.
“It’s been gloom and doom,” he said with a laugh. “I needed it this week. It was a rough day at the office on Sunday. It’s a great week to take the focus off of us and put it on some other folks.”
For Canty, community service is a part of his life and his heritage. His mother, Shirley, is an ordained minister in the United Baptist Church and she recalled spending childhood days on the back of he grandfather’s truck in South Carolina as he delivered turnips and sweet potatoes to families that needed them. That kind of generosity became a family tradition.
So when Canty first volunteered at the Food Bank in 2009, his first year with the Giants, he was so excited he called his mother. He told her not only about the people he was helping but that he had gone past her old church on 112th Street and Madison Avenue.
“We couldn’t get him off the phone he was so excited,” she said. “’Mom, you have to come up next year!’”
For the last two years, Shirley has taken her vacation time in late November and she and her husband Joseph have come up to New York from Charlotte to join their son at the Food Bank event.
This isn’t the only public service event Canty participates in. He helped unload turkeys and feed those in need at the Community FoodBank of New Jersey in Hillside last week. And next month he’ll host an event to give toys to underprivileged children. He also launched the Chris Canty Foundation this summer.
But it was the event this week – Thanksgiving week – that Canty said he took the most out of.
“Just to be able to put a smile on their face, to be able to serve them a meal, people who really really need it, it puts a smile on my face,” Canty said. “It touches me. It’s special to be able to do that and give back to the community. You never know how far this goes for them.
"And," he added, "it also helps me because it takes my mind off of work for a few hours.”