Perdue Strike Out Hunger Challenge delivers record 180,000 meals
As part of a company commitment to hunger relief, Perdue Farms teamed with the Delmarva Shorebirds — the Class A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles — and three Delmarva food banks for the annual season-long 2017 Perdue Strike Out Hunger Challenge on Delmarva to deliver a record 180,000 meals across Delmarva communities.
“We’re proud of the collaboration we have with the Delmarva food banks, the Shorebirds and its fans, and the community at-large,” said Kim Nechay, executive director of The Franklin P. and Arthur W. Perdue Foundation. “The way in which everyone responded to the Strike Out Hunger Challenge again this year reflects the passion and commitment our communities have for helping those in need.
“We’re delighted that the Strike Out Hunger Challenge continues to provide a large platform to raise awareness about the problem of hunger on Delmarva and provide much-needed relief to those in need,” she said.
The 2017 Perdue Strike Out Hunger Challenge on Delmarva provided the forum to continue the awareness and community engagement that began with Perdue’s sponsorship of the 2011 South Atlantic League “Perdue Strike Out Hunger All-Star Game” promotions. Since then, the Shorebirds and food banks have embraced the Strike Out Hunger Challenge to generate more three quarters of a million meal equivalents for those in need on Delmarva.
“It’s amazing that the Strike Out Hunger campaign made such a significant jump (40,000 meals) over last season,” said Jimmy Sweet, assistant general manager of the Delmarva Shorebirds. “The Shorebirds look forward to working with Perdue moving forward to surpass 200,000 meals next season.”
To drive this year’s Perdue Strike Out Hunger Challenge on Delmarva, Perdue Farms issued a $15,000 challenge grant funded by the Perdue Foundation — the charitable giving arm of the company — to benefit the Eastern Shore Branch of the Maryland Food Bank, the Food Bank of Delaware and the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore.
Each of the food banks were required to engage the Delmarva community to raise the equivalent of 10,000 meals in order to claim their equal share of the first $10,000 of the Foundation challenge grant. This included any combination of pounds of food collected, funds collected and donated, or volunteer hours throughout the duration of the Shorebirds’ season.
Additionally, Perdue also donated $10 for each time the Shorebirds’ pitchers struck out an opposing batter up to $5,000.
“Eastern Shore residents challenged by hunger continued to find support through community partnerships pledging to donate food, funds and their time through volunteerism in support of the 2017 Perdue Strike Out Hunger Challenge,” said Jennifer Small, managing director of the Eastern Shore branch of the Maryland Food Bank. “Our collaborative efforts have helped provide Maryland’s hungry with more than 260,000 meals. This initiative remains a pivotal part of the Maryland Food Banks’ ability to meet the daily needs of those who struggle to feed their families.”
As Chad Robinson, director of strategic initiatives for the Food Bank of Delaware in Milford, explains, “Strike Out Hunger has been a vital part of summer for the Food Bank of Delaware. The challenge from Perdue and the Delmarva Shorebirds helps us to ensure that we are able to feed hungry Delawareans throughout the summer months, when donations can be low. It also presents a great opportunity for families to have an easy way to give back, as they enjoy America’s greatest pastime.”
Charmin Horton, branch manager of the Foodbank of the Eastern Shore in Tasley, Va., said the partnership helps provided much needed service to more than 12,000 people. “Our long-term partnership with Perdue and now the Shorebirds has enabled us to provide much-needed food and programs to those facing food insecurities here on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. These programs provide meals and nutrition education to families, children and seniors who are currently facing issues of hunger.”