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The Cowboys' Travis Frederick hopes to block out children's hunger

FRISCO, Texas -- As a rookie in 2013, Dallas Cowboys center Travis Frederick went to a food pantry to feed the less fortunate and was struck by the number of children he saw.

Ever since, children's hunger has been his cause.

Two weeks ago Frederick hosted the Taste of the Cowboys event, which benefited the North Texas Food Bank. This week, through his foundation -- Travis Frederick's Blocking out Hunger Foundation -- he announced he will provide 200 kids, who rely on free or reduced lunches during the school year, a box of food a week for the 10-week summer break.

"When you get to see those kids that are just so excited to have a meal, it's heartbreaking knowing that, oftentimes, they're not getting that meal -- today might be a special day that they get that meal," Frederick said. "Knowing that they can't be at their fullest without having food really sunk into my heart. From there we started building up a little bit to do as much as we could to try and bring more awareness to it -- but also to help feed these kids."

On Tuesday night, Frederick hosted a fundraiser at TopGolf in The Colony, Texas, with more than 20 teammates on hand. Last season, he hosted his first fundraiser, Stars and Steaks, in which his teammates served as waiters. The event raised more than $200,000 and helped fund his "Nourish to Flourish," program that will cover winter and spring breaks as well as this summer.

According to the North Texas Food Bank, one in four kids go to bed hungry.

"There's a lot of different areas of Texas, but in Dallas, there's so many businesses that are thriving here, it's hard to imagine it's worse here in Dallas than it is nationwide," Frederick said. "So we're trying to get people together. We're trying to bring awareness to this so we can help solve this problem."

When the next school year starts in August, Frederick will start a program called, "Travis' Pantry," for children needing free of reduced meals.

"We're going to bring some carts into these schools where it reduces the stigma of getting free and reduced lunch. Sometimes there's separate lines, and it's hard for kids," Frederick said. "They don't want to be known as the kids that need help. So we're going to try to make it a little bit cooler to be having breakfast and being able to have access to these meals."

Frederick first noticed his ability to play football could help the less fortunate when he was at Wisconsin. As a rookie with the Cowboys, Frederick said he went to 6-8 charity balls to raise money and realized his position on the team could help the less fortunate.

As he has grown into an All-Pro center with three straight Pro Bowl appearances, Frederick's name recognition has continued to grow.

"To me, I think it's really important to give our future, the next generation, the same ability to become great," Frederick said. "And a kid that doesn't have that opportunity can never get there, but if you give them the things they need, they have an opportunity to take this and make our world a better place."