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Arenado, teammates join effort to fight hunger

@harding_at_mlb
April 16, 2020

DENVER -- Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado spent his 29th birthday Thursday “just staying home, praying we play soon,” but he also made it a point to reach out to children in need of meals. Arenado was one of more than 50 Major League players, representing all 30 teams, who

DENVER -- Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado spent his 29th birthday Thursday “just staying home, praying we play soon,” but he also made it a point to reach out to children in need of meals.

Arenado was one of more than 50 Major League players, representing all 30 teams, who joined to provide more than 4 million meals as part of the Home Plate Project to address childhood hunger amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The players raised nearly $1 million with music star Garth Brooks’ Teammates for Kids Foundation and Big League Impact, which was founded by Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright and is being led by Wainwright and Rangers pitcher Kyle Gibson.

Rockies first baseman Daniel Murphy and shortstop Trevor Story joined Arenado to represent the Rockies in the initiative. According to the press release, more than 20 million students in the United States and Canada depend on school-provided free or reduced-price meals, but those aren’t available in many areas because schools are closed.

MLB players team up, offer kids millions of meals

In interviews since Spring Training was halted and the season delayed, Arenado made reference to looking for ways to contribute to easing the burden.

“I just talked to some players who are trying to help, and I wanted to help also,” Arenado said. “We must pick each other up. I think we have a service and the resources to help. When times are tough, it’s easy to come together and help.”

The project came together quickly. The initiative was scheduled to launch in the fall, but Brooks, Wainwright and Gibson realized the situation is urgent with many schools shut down and those meals unavailable. Their charity teams called and sent messages, and players reached out to other players. With the help of Brooks’ Teammates for Kids Foundation, the network of players and partners raised $937,100.

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb and like his Facebook page.