Fans can drop off canned or dry food donations at either a City Harvest or Island Harvest truck that will be parked next to the Shea Stadium Home Run Apple. The trucks will be on Mets Plaza for every Friday home game for the rest of the season.
“With thousands of New Yorkers going hungry every day, we thought it was critical to find a way to help and bring attention to this growing problem,” said Dave Howard, executive vice president of Business Operations for the Mets.
In addition to the Friday food drives, Mets players will also participate in promotional events throughout the year to raise awareness about hunger issues, and a public service announcement will air at the ballpark and on SNY.
One such event occurred last week at PS. 12 in Woodside, when Mets players Mike Baxter, Jonathon Niese and Daniel Murphy visited the school. Last year, the school raised almost 2,000 pounds of food for City Harvest, more than any other school in the city.
“I couldn't be any more proud of you guys for donating all of this food,” Baxter, who grew up in Whitestone, told the kids. “How cool is it that a school this close to Citi Field donated the most food in the city?”
After s short performance by the school kids, the Mets trio helped load boxes of food on a City Harvest truck, and then played a round of catch with three lucky students.
This isn't the first time the Mets have partnered with food aid organizations to help feed the city's hungry. For the past six years, volunteers from Rock and Wrap It Up! have collected food for area kitchens after every home game.
And the Mets and City Harvest have worked together in the past to repack apples and potatoes for delivery to city soup kitchens.
According to City Harvest, soup kitchens served by the organization have seen an average increase in demand of 25 percent since 2008. Visits by children are up by 35 percent, signaling a growing hunger crisis in New York City.