Marlins hand out meals, 'enjoy giving back'

Members of Miami organization come together for community ahead of Thanksgiving

November 20th, 2021

MIAMI -- Rain couldn't stop the Marlins' 13th annual Home Plate Meals Thanksgiving Distribution, sponsored by Tito’s Handmade Vodka, on Friday afternoon.

Starting pitchers and , CEO Derek Jeter, GM Kim Ng and other members of the organization gathered in the center-field garage at loanDepot park to provide Thanksgiving dinners to local families. The drive-thru, done with the support of Feeding South Florida, contained a meal box with approximately 25 pounds of food, including a 10-pound turkey.

"That's something I grew up dreaming about," said Luzardo, whom Miami acquired in a midseason trade from Oakland. "I always wanted to be a Marlin, always came to Marlins games growing up with my dad and my family. So being able to be out here and help the community in a Marlins jersey, it means a lot to me. It's a blessing, and it's a great way to get to know a lot of the other people in the organization as well."

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, the Marlins and the Miami Marlins Foundation have provided more than 1 million meals to the South Florida community. The Home Plate Meals Relief Fund launched on April 2, 2020, with the Marlins focused on addressing urgent food security needs. Friday's scene felt like a return to normalcy compared to last year's event.

"This is a special time of year," Jeter said. "We enjoy giving back. Each year, we start talking about the holiday season, this is what makes you feel good as an organization. This is an annual event, it's been going on for quite some time, but especially our staff and volunteers look forward to it. It's important to us. It's important to the ownership group."

Taking a break from loading vehicles with meal boxes, Alcantara reflected on what he was thankful for during a challenging year, as his mother, Francisca, died in July.

"Playing baseball and being alive, because if you're alive, you can be anything you want," Alcantara said. "For me, being a professional baseball player means a lot, because I've been helping my family all the time, and I figure it's because this is my sport."