St. Vincent de Paul Still Looks to ‘Strike Out Hunger’ even with no Baseball being played
With the pandemic increasing the demand for food from our neighbors in need this summer, Reds fans can still help “Strike Out Hunger” in other ways
CINCINNATI, JUNE 1, 2020 – For the previous 13 years, St. Vincent de Paul and the Cincinnati Reds have partnered to “Strike Out Hunger” by holding a food drive outside of GABP one weekend each summer. That weekend would have been this weekend—Friday, June 5, and Saturday, June 6—when the Reds were scheduled to play the Chicago Cubs.
This year, however, the coronavirus pandemic has brought everything to a halt. For the first time in 150 years, summer in Cincinnati hasn’t had Cincinnati Reds baseball. Even during the two World Wars, the games went on.
Not only is that impacting Reds fans who long for the sights and sounds of the ballpark, but it’s also impacting our neighbors in need.
Typically, Reds fans donate more than three tons of food during the food drive, which stocks the shelves of St. Vincent de Paul’s food pantry network during the busy summer months when supplies run low. The donations are enough to provide 5,300 meals.
With the games cancelled, the food drive has also been cancelled, leaving a shortage of food to feed our neighbors in need.
“Summer is a critical time for struggling families,” says St. Vincent de Paul Executive Director Mike Dunn. “Typically, when schools are out, the need for food from our food pantries increases significantly. Now, with the pandemic forcing even more people to be at home, the need is even greater. The Strike Out Hunger drive would normally keep our food pantries stocked during the summer, but without it our inventories are going to be running low.”
In the past, donations barrels were placed outside of GABP entrances and fans who donated a minimum of three non-perishable food items received a free ticket to a future Reds game.
While tickets to future games are not available this year, fans may still help by:
• Financial donations at svdpcincinnati.org/donate. Financial gifts allow the most flexibility so we can buy fresh produce and foods we are in need of the most.
• Purchase items on the St. Vincent de Paul Amazon Wish List (https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/2IP7J9DM9MUY0/ref=hz_ls_biz_ex) Donate a jar of Jif or a pack of pasta, maybe some mac and cheese or Hamburger Helper. Our Amazon Wish List has what our neighbors need and lets you shop from the safety and comfort of your living room.
• Host your own food drive. If you (or your kids) are sitting at home waiting out the pandemic, hosting your own food drive would be a great way to fill the hours in a meaningful way. Find a list of most-needed items and helpful tips at www.svdpcincinnati.org/Give_Help/Host_a_Drive.
For more information about donating, visit SVDPcincinnati.org or call 513-562-8841, ext. 011.
About St. Vincent de Paul – Cincinnati
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul has been providing innovative, practical emergency assistance to Greater Cincinnati residents in need for more than 150 years. The organization works personally with those in need, regardless of race or creed, to bridge the spiritual, emotional and material gaps in their lives through home visits provided by neighborhood-based volunteer groups, and groundbreaking initiatives like the Charitable Pharmacy as well as a network of 11 food pantries and seven thrift stores and donation centers across Cincinnati. The Society of St. Vincent de Paul – Cincinnati is a network of neighbors, inspired by Gospel values, growing in holiness and building a more just world through personal relationships with and service to people in need. For more information, visit SVDPcincinnati.org.