SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – Football players from the University of Illinois and UCLA spent Friday helping the San Francisco community prior to their bowl game at AT&T Park this weekend.

Illini players helped serve lunch at St. Anthony’s while UCLA players did the same at Glide. Illinois defensive end Whitney Mercilus said it was a humbling experience.

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KCBS’ Anna Duckworth Reports:

“It’s definitely touching to my heart,” he said. “I see it all the time back in my hometown of Akron, Ohio. Just getting the chance to help out some people who are not as fortunate, it means a lot to me.”

Arthur Brown, who has been eating at St. Anthony’s for 10 years, said it was touching to him as well, seeing so many young men help out those in need.

“I love it. This is what we are supposed to do. Serve one another,” he said.

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The Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl is the only college football bowl game dedicated to a social cause: to fight hunger in the United States.

University of Illinois interim head coach Vic Koenning said it teaches the players the importance of how to win beyond the football field.

“I really see them enjoying this down deep and that’s what part of it is. That’s what giving is,” said Koenning.

The bowl game, which will be played at AT&T Park on Saturday afternoon, has a 10 year history in San Francisco.

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