Perdue, Shorebirds launch Hunger Challenge for food banks in region

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From left are Charmin Horton, branch manager of the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore, Mike Hooks with the Maryland Food Bank, Chris Bitters, general manager of the Shorebirds, Steve Evans, president of Perdue Foods, and Chad Robinson, Milford branch manager of the Food Bank of Delaware.

Perdue Farms and the Delmarva Shorebirds minor league baseball team in Salisbury announced the launch of the annual season-long “2017 Perdue Strike Out Hunger Challenge on Delmarva” in partnership with the region’s three food banks.

The Franklin P. and Arthur W. Perdue Foundation — the charitable giving arm of Perdue Farms — has issued a $15,000 challenge grant to the Eastern Shore Branch of the Maryland Food Bank, the Food Bank of Delaware and the Eastern Shore Branch of the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia.

The campaign provides the forum to continue the awareness and community engagement that began with Perdue’s sponsorship of the 2011 South Atlantic League Perdue Strike Out Hunger All-Star Game promotions.

Since then, the Shorebirds, their fans and the food banks have embraced the challenge to provide more than 700,000 meal equivalents for those in need on Delmarva.

“At Perdue Farms, we believe that in a country as rich as ours, no one should have to go hungry. The Strike Out Hunger Challenge has provided a wonderful forum to raise awareness about those struggling with hunger on Delmarva,” said Kim Nechay, executive director of the foundation. “We are proud to be part of this unique collaborative partnership for the greater good of the Delmarva community.”

The first $10,000 of the Foundation’s challenge grant will be divided equally among the three Delmarva food banks as a challenge to involve the Delmarva community in the regional fight against hunger.

Each food bank must raise the equivalent of 10,000 meals to claim its share of the $10,000 challenge grant.

Any combination of pounds of food collected, funds collected and donated, or volunteer efforts from the Shorebirds’ home opener on Wednesday, April 13, through the final game of the regular season at home on Tuesday, Sept. 4, will count toward each food bank’s challenge goal.

Perdue has also committed to donating $10 for each time a Shorebirds’ pitcher strikes out an opposing batter (up to $5,000). The $5,000 will be split equally between the three food banks.

The Shorebirds plan a variety of promotions to generate interest in the Strike Out Hunger Challenge at their 70 home games.

If your organization, would like to get involved in the 2017 Perdue Strike Out Hunger Challenge on Delmarva, contact the Delmarva Shorebirds at 410-219-3112 or one of the three participating food banks: Maryland (410) 742-0050, Delaware (302) 424-3301 or Virginia (757) 787-2557.

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