Rizzo foundation helps those fighting pandemic

March 23rd, 2020

As the global coronavirus pandemic continues to impact hospitals around the country, Cubs first baseman has continued to look for ways to help.

On Monday, the Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation announced that it's beginning to expand the reach of its ongoing Hope44 Meals program. With the help of donations, the foundation started that process by providing meals for patients and medical staff at Joe DiMaggio's Children's Hospital in Rizzo's home state of Florida.

"Excited to be adding more hospitals to our meals program," Rizzo tweeted on Monday morning. "The feedback has been incredible from staff. Thank you to everyone who has been donating and helping us make a difference."

The move to expand the program comes after Rizzo's foundation spent the past week providing meals to patients and staff at Lurie's Children's Hospital in Chicago. As part of the program, Rizzo has also been teaming up with local food businesses.

Rizzo, who has regularly supported Lurie's Children's in a variety of ways throughout his Cubs career, has also been including autographed items as raffle prizes for people who donate to the cause. A $20 donation can be made by texting HOPE44 to 52000 or by visiting rizzo44.com/donate.

"Let's do this guys," Rizzo tweeted on Friday. "We can provide another week of meals to doctors, nurses and staff on the front lines. They are RISKING THEIR LIVES and their families to save those who are most precious to you!"

Rizzo is not the only Cubs player chipping in, either.

Last week, it was revealed that Jason Heyward made a $200,000 donation to a pair of Chicago-based charities. Heyward sent $100,000 to MASK Chicago, which is collecting supplies and meals for affected families, and another $100,000 to the Greater Chicago Food Depository.

"[I was] trying to figure out how we could give something back to the city," Heyward said in an interview on ESPN 1000 in Chicago. "I know there's a lot of people, a lot of things that need to still be done, a lot of people that still need help. But we just wanted to help take care of kids and make sure they have meals."