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O's committed all year in fight against hunger

BALTIMORE -- The Orioles are continuing their fight against hunger with several notable events this holiday season.

Earlier this month, members of the front office volunteered at the Maryland Food Bank's annual "Pack to Give Back" event, where they helped pack more than 15,000 holiday boxes for distribution to families in need. The organization also teamed up with the Mayors' Feed the Hungry Program in Sarasota, Fla. -- home of the O's Spring Training -- to benefit families in that area. In addition, the Orioles collected non-perishable food items over a period of several weeks and hosted a Thanksgiving Sorting Day at Ed Smith Stadium.

:: Baseball's Giving Spirit ::

Baltimore's efforts to fight hunger aren't limited to just the holidays. Players, their wives, front-office staff and others have contributed to various efforts throughout the season to help the cause. One of the organization's largest efforts was the 29th Annual OriolesREACH Food and Funds Drive, presented by OneMain Financial, which was held from June 12-14 and collected 7,000 pounds of food and $37,000 in cash donations for the Maryland Food Bank.

Other hunger initiatives this season included:

• Helping provide food for soup kitchens, food pantries and emergency shelters throughout Maryland.

• In May, Orioles players and their wives and front-office staff volunteered with the Maryland Food Bank at a local elementary school in West Baltimore, distributing food to local residents who had limited access to groceries due to unrest in the city.

• The Orioles hosted chef Bryan Voltaggio in April and he prepared a special signature hot dog sold at Oriole Park. All proceeds from the concession benefited No Kid Hungry, which aims to end childhood hunger.

• During Spring Training, the Orioles hosted the fifth annual All Faiths Food Drive to help families in the Sarasota area. Since 2011, more than 4,000 pounds of food and more than $5,000 in cash donations have been collected.

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.
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