Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) today announced a joint donation of $1 million to help fight hunger as a result of school closures and quarantines stemming from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The donation will be split evenly among Feeding America® and Meals on Wheels America.
Feeding America will distribute funds to local member food banks in high need areas across the United States to help feed children and families impacted by current, and potentially extended, school closures and other disruptions as a result of the epidemic. Meals on Wheels America will use the emergency funds to boost the organizational capacity of the network to provide in-home meals to vulnerable senior citizens during this time of crisis.
“In these difficult times of navigating this pandemic, it is important that we come together as a society to help the most vulnerable members of our communities,” said Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. “As an institution, Baseball is extending our commitment to addressing childhood hunger and food availability issues during this crisis. We are grateful for the partnership with our players on this critical issue, which has the potential to deeply affect children and seniors.”
Tony Clark, Executive Director of the MLBPA, said: “In this time of international crisis, players are eager to do their part both individually and collectively to ease the significant burdens placed on the most vulnerable people in our communities. This contribution represents one of those efforts.”
“Feeding America is tremendously grateful to Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association for their commitment to helping children and families in need,” said Lauren Biedron, Vice President of Corporate Partnerships at Feeding America. “Member food banks are committed to helping their communities everyday as well as when disaster strikes. This donation will help people who struggle to put food on their tables during this pandemic.”
“On behalf of the nationwide Meals on Wheels network, I want to extend heartfelt gratitude to Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association for their substantial contribution in response to COVID-19,” said Ellie Hollander, President and CEO, Meals on Wheels America. “It will take all of us coming together to ensure our most at-risk Americans remain healthy, and Major League Baseball and its players have set an example for others by helping us to ensure homebound seniors will continue to receive the meals they desperately need amid this evolving national crisis.”
This joint donation represents an ongoing commitment by MLB and the MLBPA to provide support to causes that assist vulnerable populations, which has historically included financial assistance toward disaster relief and recovery, promoting positive relationship skills & building mental health resiliency grants, and human trafficking prevention.