Last season the New York Mets launched "Feeding the Big Apple" Presented by The Hain Celestial Group and the Sensible Portions® Veggie Straws, Terra® Chips and Yves Veggie Cuisine® brands, a season-long hunger relief initiative in which Mets players participated in activities throughout the season with long-time Mets partners City Harvest, Citymeals-on-Wheels, Island Harvest, and Rock and Wrap it Up!. In addition a public service announcement featuring Mets players, designed to raise awareness about the issue of hunger, aired in park and on SNY.
The need for emergency food across New York City is high, with many residents struggling to put meals on the table for themselves and their families. More than 20% of New Yorkers are living in poverty, including nearly 1 in 3 children under the age of 18.
This season, five food drives have been scheduled prior to games on May 11, June 8, July 20, August 3, and September 14. Fans will have the opportunity to drop off food donations at the City Harvest or Island Harvest truck next to the Home Run Apple on Mets Plaza outside the Jackie Robinson Rotunda.
For the past nine years, the Mets have raised over $230,000 for Island Harvest by hosting a fundraiser at the ballpark, most recently in the Party Suites of Citi Field.
Mike Baxter, Daniel Murphy and Jonathon Niese visited PS 92 in Woodside, Queens, on May 30 in recognition of its students collecting 2,000 pounds of food last year for City Harvest's "Feed the Kids" Food Drive. After Mets- and City Harvest-themed performances by the children, the players and Mr. Met assisted in loading the City Harvest truck with this year's donations.
Before the Mets took on Cincinnati on June 15, Mets Alumni Edgardo Alfonzo, Cleon Jones and Jerry Koosman work side-by-side with Citi volunteers at City Harvest's annual produce repack on Mets Plaza. Over 25,000 sweet potatoes were packed into family-size bags for delivery to agencies and then families in need.
Mets players appeared at the Grand Opening of Island Harvest's Food Distribution and Storage Center in Hauppauge, Long Island. To meet the increased demand for food assistance and get food to those who need it most, Island Harvest expanded its capabilities by opening a 23,509-square facility, with over 18,500-square feet is dedicated to storing and distributing food among its 570 member agencies of food pantries, soup kitchens and other feeding programs across Long Island. Mike Baxter, Tim Byrdak and Jeremy Hefner joined Mr. Met and Island Harvest board members in sorting food donations, loading trucks of local pantries and participating in the official ribbon cutting ceremony.
The Mets and ARAMARK have partnered with Rock and Wrap It Up! for seven years in collecting and packaging unsold food at Citi Field for delivery to area food pantries to help feed the hungry. Ike Davis pitched in after an afternoon Mets game, assisting ARAMARK staff in transferring food to portable containers before passing it on the the Rock and Wrap It Up! staff at the loading dock.
Citymeals-On-Wheels was founded 31 years ago to provide weekend, holiday and emergency meals to homebound elderly New Yorkers. Mets pitchers Robert Carson, Josh Edgin and Jeremy Hefner surprised residents of nearby Whitestone, Queens, by making a special delivery of lunch and dinner along with a Mets gift bag and a handshake.
Food Drive Fridays
Before every Friday home game at Citi Field throughout the 2012 season, fans had the opportunity to participate in "Feeding the Big Apple" by dropping off food donations at the City Harvest or Island Harvest truck next to the Home Run Apple on Mets Plaza outside the Jackie Robinson Rotunda. Most needed donations
To find out how you can help your fellow New Yorkers, contact the Mets' four partners: