The coronavirus is keeping major league baseball players off the field with a delayed start to the season... but they're staying busy.
More than 50 major league baseball players representing all 30 teams have raised nearly $1 million to support childhood hunger prevention during the coronavirus pandemic.
This year for the #HomePlateProject with our friends at @BigLeagueImpact we are incredibly proud to be TEAMMATES with players from all 30 @MLB teams! This TEAM will be able to provide 4 million meals for students in need...we are all TEAMMATES!https://t.co/6HPRzPs5nA pic.twitter.com/VRYExx5ATL
— Teammates for Kids (@teammates4kids) April 16, 2020
The Home Plate Project is a partnership between Major League Baseball (MLB), country music superstar Garth Brooks' Teammates for Kids Foundation, and a program called Big League Impact.
The initiative was originally scheduled to launch its second year in the fall — but saw the urgency now to provide meals for children who rely on free or reduced-price meals at schools that are closed because of the pandemic.
Major League Baseball's Vice President of Social Responsibility, Melanie LeGrande said, "Major League Baseball commends our partners in the Home Plate Project, including the dozens of players, who are generously supporting the most vulnerable members of our society. Childhood hunger is an often overlooked issue, and it is incredibly gratifying to see our baseball community once again rising to the occasion during this pandemic."
Proud to be a part of #HomePlateProject to help support the over 20 million kids who rely on schools for their meals. With schools closed because of COVID-19, we all partnered with @teammates4kids @BigLeagueImpact @MLB to provide over 4 million meals in every MLB community! pic.twitter.com/ShbS1MWq2Y
— Adam Wainwright (@UncleCharlie50) April 17, 2020
Big League Impact co-founder Adam Wainwright said the urgency to begin the project earlier than planned was obvious and many stepped up to make it happen.
"We were excited to partner again later this year, but the pandemic the world faces during this time has called for us to act now," he said. "Big leaguers from every MLB team felt led to jump in with us so we can help feed kids right now when they need it most in their cities. We are grateful for the opportunity to help fill their needs in this most crucial time with this great project."
The project's main parties reached out to fellow players and friends throughout the league to accelerate their efforts.
"Thanks goes out to everyone who made this come together so quickly so we could have an immediate impact – especially to all the players…this isn't possible without you. We may be competitors on the field, but we are all one big family off of it," Wainwright added.
With so many children missing out on critical meals, Brooks said this year's impact will be significantly greater.
"Last year's impact was so great, and this year's will be even better. I'm really proud of the players who are participating in this project, now when it's needed most. It's a joy and a privilege to be part of the healing."
The money will provide over four million meals to prevent childhood hunger during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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