The coronavirus pandemic has created a threat of a different sort: Hunger. With public schools closing across the country and people isolating themselves at home, those in need have increased difficulty getting food.
As announced Monday, Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association have teamed up to help ease that burden with a combined $1 million donation that will be split evenly between Feeding America and Meals on Wheels America.
“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,” Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a release. “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.”
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 school closures and other disruptions.
Meals on Wheels will use the funds to boost the organizational capacity of its network to provide in-home meals to senior citizens.
MLB and the MLBPA have been navigating many challenges in recent days, given the need to close spring training camps and delay the start of the regular season. But while the baseball issues are unprecedented, the two sides also recognized a much more meaningful dilemma faced by a society in 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,” MLBPA Executive Director Tony Clark said. “This contribution represents one of those efforts.”