Marshawn Lynch holding food giveaway at Emeryville soul food restaurant

(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Marshawn "Beast Mode" Lynch, the former NFL star, philanthropist and Oakland native, is holding a food giveaway Wednesday at his East Bay restaurant.

Employees at Rob Ben's Neighborhood Soul on  San Pabloe Avenue in Emeryville will give out food boxes and hot meals, from  11:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. 

Lynch bought the restaurant a few years back from 79-year-old owner Cassie Nickelson, who decided to retire from 50 years of serving soul food classics like red beans and rice, wings, fried catfish, oxtails, and macaroni and cheese.

As the story goes, a 9-year-old Lynch bought french fries and hamburgers from Nickelson when she ran a catering business from her apartment.

This event is one of many community benefits that Lynch, a graduate of Oakland Technical High School, has hosted over the years. Two years ago, Lynch was nominated as the Oakland Raiders' Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year nominee, mainly for his Fam1st Family Foundation, he launched in 2006. 

The award recognizes NFL players for outstanding community service activities off the field, as well as excellence on the field.