Mayors’ Feed the Hungry Program welcomes contributions this month

Non-perishable food items may be brought to Ed Smith Stadium between Nov. 9 and Nov. 20

Volunteers sort food items for the Mayors Feed the Hungry Program in 2013. File photo
Volunteers sort food items for the Mayors Feed the Hungry Program in 2013. File photo

The Baltimore Orioles and the Mayors’ Feed the Hungry Program are teaming up again this year to collect and distribute food to help people in need in Sarasota County, the team has announced.

The Orioles will accept non-perishable food items at Ed Smith Stadium beginning on Monday, Nov. 9, and the Major League Baseball team will host the charity’s Thanksgiving Sorting Day at the ballpark on Friday, Nov. 20, a news release says.

Food items may be dropped off at Ed Smith Stadium, located at 2700 12th St. in Sarasota, on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The collection station will be located inside Café 54, which fronts on Euclid Avenue, the release adds.

The stadium will be closed on Wednesday, Nov. 11, in observance of Veterans Day.

Additionally, volunteers are needed between noon and 5 p.m. on Nov. 20 to sort the food collected from locations throughout the community, the release adds. Volunteers do not need to sign up in advance, the release points out.

“Partnering with the Mayors’ Feed the Hungry Program has become an important tradition for our organization, which has a long-standing commitment to fighting hunger locally and in the Mid-Atlantic region,” said David Rovine, vice president for the Orioles in Sarasota, in the release. “Together, we can help improve the lives of families in need throughout the Sarasota area.”

The Mayors’ Feed the Hungry Program is an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization that has collected and distributed more than 200 tons of food and more than $2 million in food gift cards to the hungry in Sarasota and Manatee counties since 1987, the release explains. The organization’s Thanksgiving food drive annually collects more than 46 tons of non-perishable food items, which are distributed through charitable groups, religious institutions and service agencies, the release says. “[The] Mayors’ Feed the Hungry [Program] also uses cash donations to distribute food gift cards,” the release adds.

“Mayors’ Feed the Hungry is thrilled to team up with the Orioles again this year,” said Joel Swallow, chair of the Mayors’ Feed the Hungry program, in the release. “The Orioles very graciously open their Sarasota home to host our annual food drive, demonstrating their commitment to giving back to the community.”

The program is endorsed by the mayors of Sarasota, Bradenton, Palmetto, Venice, Longboat Key, and North Port, as well as the chairs of the Sarasota and Manatee county commissions. More information may be found at