The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation, a longtime partner of the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, is donating $750,000 to the Food Bank to help provide food and nutrition assistance to families in need throughout LA County as part of the 2022 All-Star Legacy Initiative.
In addition to the financial gift, the LA Dodgers and key members of Major League Baseball, including MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, volunteered at the Food Bank on Monday, July 18, and prepared kits for the Food Bank’s BackPack Program, which provides food to students when free school meals are not available.
“Today, we’re here at the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank launching our All-Star Weekend Essentials BackPack Program,” says the Dodger Foundation CEO Nichol Whiteman. “In light of the 2022 All-Star game, the MLB, the Dodgers and the Dodgers Foundation are going to leave behind $6 million worth of community legacy projects combined with our efforts in 2020. Today, we’re packing food boxes that will go along with care kits that we packed a couple of weeks ago with Baby2Baby that will allow for 4 million meals to go to 15 LAUSD Title 1 schools over the next academic year. The LA Regional Food Bank has been doing this amazing program for years and years and we’re really proud with over a $1 million investment, we will be able to help sustain and expand this program to more schools that have been on waiting lists.”
As part of the initiative, the contribution will help fund the Food Bank’s BackPack Program to support thousands of students and their families who will receive essential items weekly at many LA school locations during the 2022-2023 academic year. Funds through this initiative will allow purchasing of nutritionally balanced and kid-friendly food that will be sent home with students on Fridays to provide meals for the weekend.
Food insecurity is harmful to all individuals however it is particularly devastating to children. Proper nutrition is critical to a child’s development. Not having enough proper nutrition can severely affect a child’s physical and mental health, academic achievement and future economic prosperity. LA County is home to more food-insecure children than any other county in the nation.
“The Los Angeles Regional Food Bank is so grateful to the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation, Major League Baseball and to everyone involved in this event, "said Michael Flood, President and CEO of the LA Regional Food Bank. “Comprehensive support like this is a home run – volunteering, donating funds, donating product, raising awareness for our work – this is exactly the support we need to continue to fight hunger in our community.”
While food-insecure families contend with summer months without as much food assistance during the school year, many families are also impacted by current inflationary prices of fuel, food and everyday goods. Strong partnerships with community members such as the Dodgers Foundation, Dodgers and MLB help the Food Bank and our partner agency network of 600+ organizations reach as many food-insecure families as possible. Since the Food Bank was founded in 1973, more than 1.5 billion meals have been provided to those in need.
Through a combined effort, the All-Star Legacy Initiative, MLB, LADF and the Dodgers will address the root causes of homelessness by supporting an ongoing program to provide the equivalent of 4 million healthy meals and 127,000 basic essential items for youth and families living in poverty. Each student in the program will receive a Baby2Baby bare essentials kit to take home to their families, including hygiene items, soap, blankets, diapers and PPE supplies.
Being a non-profit organization, the work of the Food Bank cannot be executed without the engagement of our community partners such as the Dodger Foundation, Dodgers and MLB. The LA Regional Food Bank thanks the Dodger Foundation, Dodgers and MLB for their continued support of the fight against hunger.