For two days this summer, the Red Sox Wives take over Fenway Park during the 17th Annual Can & Cash Drive, a fundraiser for The Greater Boston Food Bank, the largest hunger-relief organization in New England and one of the largest food banks in the country. For two hours prior to game time through the first inning, volunteers from the Food Bank will collect 10 non-perishable food items or a $10 donation in exchange for an autographed photo of a Red Sox player, handed out by one of the Red Sox Wives. Since the Food Bank and the Wives will be stationed outside the gates, fans do not need a ticket to the game to participate in the fundraiser. Donations will be collected from 5:00 pm until 7:30 pm on Friday, July 30 and from 2:00 pm until 4:30 pm on Saturday, July 31st.
Throughout the games on July 30 and July 31, the Fenway Park Jumbotron will broadcast facts about hunger in Massachusetts, provided by The Greater Boston Food Bank. In addition to the Red Sox Wives’ autographed photo tables, volunteers will also be on hand outside the park to collect donations. At the end of August, The Greater Boston Food Bank’s CEO Catherine D’Amato will sing the National Anthem before a game and accept the check for the total amount of money raised at Fenway Park during the Can & Cash Drive. In 2009, The Food Bank collected $25,961.85 (53,741 meals) and 5,550 pounds of food from Red Sox fans in just two days. Since its inception, the Can & Cash Drive has raised approximately $196,000 in cash donations and collected more than 150,000 pounds of food.
This year, the Food Bank’s focus is on securing nutrient-rich foods, such as canned lean meats (tuna, salmon and chicken), peanut butter, canned or dry beans, canned or dry fruits and vegetables (diced tomatoes and spaghetti sauce), non-perishable whole grains (oatmeal, pasta and low-sugar/high-fiber cereal) and shelf-stable dairy products (evaporated or dry milk). A complete list of suggested foods can be found online at http://www.gbfb.org/donateFood/documents/BestFoodsToDonateToYourFoodDrive.pdf.
The Food Bank is the largest hunger-relief organization in New England and one of the largest food banks in the country. On an annual basis, The Food Bank distributes more than 3 million pounds of food and grocery products to a network of nearly 600 member shelters, food pantries and soup kitchens, and feeds more than 394,000 people in nine eastern Massachusetts counties serving over 190 communities. The Food Bank benefits from the service of approximately 14,000 volunteers.
Founded in 1981, The Greater Boston Food Bank is a member of Feeding America – the nation’s largest hunger-relief organization. Due to increased demand from a sharp rise in the number of Massachusetts residents needing assistance, The Food Bank recently moved to a new, 117,000 square-foot, energy-efficient facility – the Yawkey Distribution Center. This new facility, which was designed by Tom Sieniewicz of Chan Krieger Sieniewicz, will allow The Food Bank to significantly increase its distribution over the next 15 years to eventually accommodate 50 million pounds of food and grocery products annually.
For more information about The Greater Boston Food Bank, visit www.gbfb.org.