More than 200 volunteers sorted over 44 tons of food to help Sarasota area residents in need during the Mayors' Feed the Hungry Program Thanksgiving sorting day hosted by the Baltimore Orioles at Ed Smith Stadium on November 16. The Orioles and OriolesREACH, the ballclub's charitable arm, are teaming up with Sarasota County charities to fight hunger in the local community.
"Hosting the Mayors' Feed the Hungry food sorting day at Ed Smith Stadium demonstrates the versatility of this new facility and our strong belief in going to bat against hunger," said Laura Williams, Orioles' Director of Florida Operations. "The Orioles are proud to be a part of the Sarasota community and we remain a committed year-round community partner giving back through OriolesREACH and our Sarasota 365 program.
The Mayors' Feed the Hungry Program is an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization that has helped more than 370,000 hungry persons in Sarasota and Manatee counties since 1987. The organization's Thanksgiving food drive collects tons of non-perishable food items annually. Food is distributed through charitable groups, religious institutions and service agencies. Mayors' Feed the Hungry also uses cash donations to distribute food gift cards.
"We have been holding our food drives in a grass parking lot for the last 12 years, so the facilities at Ed Smith Stadium were a huge improvement," said Scott Biehler, Vice Chairman of the charity. "We also benefited from the Orioles' outreach to media and local residents, helping to generate more food donations and participating collection locations this year."
"Mayors' Feed the Hungry does not receive government funds, and we are all volunteers. Corporate partners like the Baltimore Orioles are vital to serving the thousands of local residents who would go hungry without our help," Biehler said.
The program is endorsed by the mayors of Sarasota, Bradenton, Palmetto, Venice, and Longboat Key, as well as the chairs of the North Port City Council and the Sarasota and Manatee County Commissions. Information: www.mayorsfeedthehungry.org.
The Orioles' participation with the Mayors' Feed the Hungry Program is part of Sarasota 365, a host of initiatives through which the Baltimore Orioles and OriolesREACH demonstrate the ballclub's year-round engagement with the Greater Sarasota community. Whether hosting youth activities, participating in charitable causes or partnering in efforts to boost the local economy, the Orioles are active in the region all year long, proving that their commitment to the club's southern home goes far beyond baseball. For more information, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.