BY BRUCE BRANUM
The Greenville Standard
Za’Darius Smith, a Greenville native and standout defensive end for the Green Bay Packers, is giving back to his beloved hometown.
For four weeks, Smith is working with local restaurants to give away meals each week during the coronavirus pandemic.
This past Friday, Pizza Hut gave away 500 pizzas through their take-out service. It was a busy lunch time on the roadways near Pizza Hut as people waited to turn in and receive their pizza.
The Greenville Police Department assisted with traffic control but still there were some traffic issues.
According to Sharon Smith, who is Za’Darius’ mother and a Captain with Butler Counter Sheriff’s Office who works at the Butler County Correctional Facility, he wanted to give back the community.
Next week’s food giveaway is scheduled for McDonald’s. The following week is scheduled for Hardee’s. The fourth week, Sharon indicated they hope to give away $25 gift cards to Super Foods.
Za’Darius attended Greenville High School and was a 2009 graduate. He played basketball throughout high school and then decided to play football his senior year.
He then played football at East Mississippi Community College and after graduating signed to play football with the Kentucky Wildcats.
As an SEC standout, he was drafted in the 4th round as the 122nd pick by the Baltimore Ravens. He played with the Ravens from 2015-2018.
He signed with the Green Bay Packers in 2019 as an outside linebacker; he has been a defensive force that offences have to reckon with.
Sharon said, “We pray every day that God will keep him strong. We wanted to do something for the kids during these pandemic times.”