As part of Perdue Farms’ “Delivering Hope to Our Neighbors®” initiative focused on improving the quality of life in our communities through hunger relief, the company teamed with the Delmarva Shorebirds Class A minor league baseball team and three Delmarva Peninsula food banks to deliver 136,000 meals across the region’s communities in the season-long 2022 Perdue Strike Out Hunger Challenge on Delmarva.
“Economic challenges, combined with the lingering impact of the pandemic, has brought so much uncertainty and challenge to individuals and families struggling with food insecurity on the Delmarva Peninsula,” said Kim Nechay, executive director of the Franklin P. and Arthur W. Perdue Foundation. “We’re proud that this year’s campaign once again provided a collaborative platform to raise public awareness about the problem of hunger and food insecurity and deliver much-needed relief to our neighbours in the communities where we live and work.”
According to research from the food banks, on average one in seven people on the Delmarva Peninsula are challenged by food insecurity. One third of that food-insecure population is children.
Since 2011, Perdue, the Shorebirds, food banks and the community at-large have embraced the Strike Out Hunger Challenge to generate more than 1.3 million meals for those in need on Delmarva.
“That is an outstanding number of meals produced through the Strike Out Hunger Campaign.,” said Jimmy Sweet, assistant general manager of the Delmarva Shorebirds. “I would like to thank the Delmarva community for their continued support and look forward to continuing this partnership and providing even more meals in 2023.”
To drive this year’s Perdue Strike Out Hunger Challenge on Delmarva, Perdue Farms issued a $15,000 challenge grant funded by the Franklin P. and Arthur W. 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 to claim their equal share of the first $10,000 of the Foundation challenge grant. This included any combination of pounds of food collected, monies collected and donated, or volunteer hours throughout the duration of the Shorebirds’ season. Perdue also donated $10 for each time the Shorebirds’ pitchers struck out an opposing batter, up to $5,000.
“We are so grateful for Perdue’s support through the Strike Out Hunger Challenge,” said Food Bank of Delaware President and CEO Cathy Kanefsky. “We look forward to this collaborative community partnership each year so we can collectively serve our community’s most vulnerable. When we work together, we can truly deliver hope to our neighbours. More than 100,000 of our neighbours here in Delaware are struggling to afford food. This effort will enable us to put meals on the tables of those who need it most.”
“As financial effects of the pandemic continue to impact Maryland households, more people are turning to the charitable food system. Having the continued support of Perdue Farms and the Delmarva Shorebirds through “Perdue’s Strike out Hunger Campaign Challenge,” the Maryland Food Bank Eastern Shore is better positioned to meet increased needs,” said Jennifer Small, vice president of partner logistics and programs for the Maryland Food Bank.