Jackie Robinson Foundation scholars aid hunger relief

MLB, Rise Against Hunger co-sponsor event to package 15,000 meals

March 4th, 2019

NEW YORK – More than 100 students from the Jackie Robinson Foundation know what it means to give back. On Sunday evening, they packaged over 15,000 meals to feed youth and families across the globe.

The event, which lasted about an hour and 15 minutes, took place at the Marriott Marquis in Manhattan and it was sponsored by Major League Baseball. The meals included rice, soy, vegetables and a vitamin packet. It marked the fourth consecutive year MLB and Rise Against Hunger formed this partnership.

“I’m very proud to have the students come here and give back,” said Nicholas DiMare, who is the assistant community engagement manager for Rise Against Hunger. “What they don’t recognize is, in just a matter of an hour, they are able to save so many lives and lives of children they are never going to meet. To be able to give that time that they have, to come together to package these meals [is amazing].”

Jonathan Kidd, a junior at UCLA and a Jackie Robinson Foundation scholar, said packaging the food for the needy puts things in perspective. It makes him realize how lucky is.

“College is very stressful, life is stressful, but coming to an event like this ... there are people who don’t have food to eat,” Kidd said. “Doing things like this really helps you not worry about some of the minuscule things that we normally get messed up about. It really focuses on giving back to the community.”

If he were alive today, Robinson would have been 100 years old. What would he say after watching Jackie Robinson scholars give back to the community?

“He would be really excited,” said Krystle Shakespeare, who is the assistant director of core programs at the Jackie Robinson Foundation. “One thing about Jackie Robinson is that he was a good person on giving back to his own community.

“Individuals only know him as a baseball player, but he was into business. He was really working with his community, particularly the black community. He would look at an opportunity like this and be really proud of the legacy not only he was a part of, but that his wife, Rachel Robinson, created in his honor.”

Targeting hunger, specifically by supporting school feeding programs, Rise Against Hunger leverages support to address issues related to poverty, disease, education, and the welfare of women and children.

Rise Against Hunger, an international hunger relief organization based in Raleigh, N.C., works to implement immediate and long-term solutions to hunger worldwide. With program locations in 20 U.S. cities and five international offices, Rise Against Hunger has engaged volunteers to package nearly 400 million nutrient-rich meals for distribution to 74 countries around the globe. In 2017, for example, Rise Against Hunger served more than 1.4 million people. Rise Against Hunger is committed to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development goal of ending hunger by 2030.