Orioles teaming up again with area nonprofits to fight hunger in Sarasota

Non-perishable food items to be collected at Ed Smith Stadium beginning Nov. 5

Image from the Mayors’ Feed the Hungry website

This fall, the Baltimore Orioles once again are teaming up with two local nonprofits, Mayors’ Feed the Hungry Program and All Faiths Food Bank, to fight hunger in Sarasota County, the team has announced.

To support the Mayors’ Feed the Hungry Program, the Orioles will collect non-perishable food items at Ed Smith Stadium beginning on Monday, Nov. 5, and the team will host the charity’s Thanksgiving Sorting Day at the ballpark on Friday, Nov. 16, a news release says.

Non-perishable food items may be dropped off at Ed Smith Stadium from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays. The stadium is located at 2700 12th St. in Sarasota. The collection station is located inside Café 54 on Euclid Avenue, the release notes.

The stadium will be closed on Monday, Nov. 12, in observance of Veterans Day, the release points out.

“The Mayors’ Feed the Hungry Program is a nonprofit organization that has collected and distributed more than 600 tons of food and more than $3.5 million in food gift cards given to the hungry in Sarasota and Manatee counties since 1987,” the release explains. Every year, the organization’s Thanksgiving food drive typically collects more than 46 tons of non-perishable food items, the release adds. “Food is distributed through charitable groups, religious institutions, and service agencies,” the release says.

Mayors’ Feed the Hungry also uses cash donations to distribute food gift cards, the release notes. For more information, visit www.mayorsfeedthehungry.org.

Additionally, tickets are on sale for All Faiths Food Bank’s popular Bowls of Hope benefit, which will be held at Ed Smith Stadium on Sunday, Dec. 2, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., the release continues.

Each year more than 1,500 guests generally attend that family-friendly event, “where 40 of the community’s finest restaurants and caterers serve delicious soups, breads, desserts, and more,” the release says. “Guests select beautiful, handcrafted bowls to keep” — all donated by local potters, artists, and students — “while enjoying a modest meal as a reminder of the empty bowls they help to fill,” the release explains.

Each year during Spring Training, the Orioles also host a food collection drive for All Faiths Food Bank at Ed Smith Stadium, and fans attending Gulf Coast League and Fall Instructional League games at the stadium contribute to the food bank, the release points out.

In 2017, All Faiths Food Bank distributed more than 10.2 million pounds of food, which equates to 8.5 million meals, to 66,000 people in Sarasota and DeSoto counties, the release adds. For more information, visit www.allfaithsfoodbank.org.

“The Orioles have a long-standing commitment to fighting hunger, not just locally but also regionally throughout the mid-Atlantic and internationally through a variety of partnerships,” said David Rovine, vice president of the Orioles-Sarasota, in the release. “We encourage local residents to participate in the important efforts of Mayors’ Feed the Hungry and All Faiths Food Bank. Together, we can help improve the lives of families in need throughout the Sarasota area,” he added in the release.