Pirates, food bank team for drive-up meals

Team's $50K donation helps fund distribution events

March 21st, 2020

PITTSBURGH -- A day after announcing a $50,000 donation to the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, the Pirates and the charitable organization teamed up to host a drive-up food distribution event in parking lots on the North Shore on Saturday morning.

Saturday’s event was funded in part by the club’s donation to the Food Bank, and that donation will help enable similar events in the future.

“This event is a great example of what we, as a Pittsburgh community, can do together to help our neighbors,” Pirates president Travis Williams, who helped distribute boxes of food, said in a statement. “We could not be more proud of our employee volunteers and the people of the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank who make this their mission every day.”

The Food Bank organized the drive-up distribution event, which was staffed by the organization’s volunteers and the Pirates organization. They served hundreds of vehicles, with each one receiving three boxes (or approximately 75 pounds) of food to help families in need during the national emergency created by the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the Pirates, the distribution process followed methods now being used at the Food Bank distribution center, and thus adhered to the social distancing protocols currently recommended by health officials. Drivers entered the lots, which were provided free of charge for the events by Pirates partner ALCO Parking, and indicated how many people they were caring for. They then received prepackaged boxes that the volunteers loaded into the rear of their vehicles.

The Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank is a member of Feeding America. The nonprofit organization, which was founded in 1980, provides more than 35 million meals annually via a network of nearly 400 agencies throughout 11 counties in southwestern Pennsylvania. The Pirates advised those interested in making a financial donation to visit pittsburghfoodbank.org; families in need are encouraged to visit a local food pantry or to check the Food Bank’s website for future distribution information.

The Pirates’ donation -- which ultimately will provide 250,000 meals through the Food Bank -- is a part of baseball’s ongoing efforts to feed those in need during this national emergency. On Monday, Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association announced a combined $1 million donation to Feeding America and Meals on Wheels America.