Minneapolis Millers Youth Baseball
The Food Group is excited to be partnering with the outstanding young athletes from the Minneapolis Millers 12AAA baseball team, who represent the Minneapolis Youth Baseball Association.
The Minneapolis Youth Baseball Association (MYBA) is a non-profit organization which has helped to teach and expand the game of baseball to thousands of Minneapolis youth since its inception in 1996. These young athletes – comprising 21 teams – participated in over 1,000 baseball games in 2017 and represent Minneapolis on the local, state, and national levels.
This year, the Minneapolis Millers 12AAA team will represent Minneapolis at a national baseball tournament in Cooperstown, New York. The total costs for sending the team and coaches is over $25,000, and the high cost serves as a huge barrier to participation. As a solution, the Millers embarked on a fundraising mission to help offset the costs for players and families.
Their fundraising journey quickly evolved – they realized that if they were going to ask for support from the community to help them reach their goal, they also wanted to give back to the community and help raise awareness of important issues facing youth across Minneapolis, Minnesota, and the nation.
Childhood hunger is a real issue in Minnesota and all across the United States. According to Hunger Solutions, Minnesotans visited food shelves 3,402,077 times in 2017. This marks the seventh consecutive year with more than 3 million visits to our food shelves – 36.4% of those visits being made by children.
In Minneapolis Public Schools, over 60% of students utilize the free or reduced lunch program. The Millers’ friends, classmates, and neighbors are struggling with food insecurity – and they decided to do something about it.
Partnering to Fight Childhood Hunger
When school is not in session, free and reduced school meals are not available for the students that count on them. The number of summer meal programs in Minneapolis is growing, however there is still a tremendous need.
The Minneapolis Millers created the Millers Home Plates initiative to help local Minneapolis kids struggling with hunger. They also hope to educate their players and others throughout youth baseball on the importance of fighting hunger in their communities, and to recruit more Minneapolis youth who may not otherwise have access to the game of baseball.
Through Millers Home Plates, the Minneapolis Millers are working to:
- Sort and pack food at The Food Group warehouse
- Help grow and harvest fresh produce at The Food Group Farm
- Collect and rescue fresh produce from the Minneapolis Farmers Market
- Collect non-perishable foods through an all-season Strike Out Hunger Food & Fund Drive
- Raise awareness and funds to help support The Food Group in building local urban gardens throughout Minneapolis
Through their volunteer work and fundraising initiatives, the Millers want to help provide over 25,000 meals for local kids fighting hunger.
They realize that while summer is a great time for baseball, it’s one of the hardest times of the year for their classmates struggling with food insecurity. On June 9th, they launched their first Strike Out Summer Hunger Food & Fund Drive – with incredible response.
Minneapolis Millers Strike Out Summer Hunger
The Minneapolis Millers 12AAA team organized their first Strike Out Summer Hunger Food & Fund Drive at their double-header tournament at Neiman Field on June 9th, 2018. They encouraged teammates and other teams in the league to donate healthy, kid friendly foods.
In a few short hours, the Millers collected 475 pounds of healthy foods and raised $670 – which will help provide 1,736 meals for their neighbors and classmates fighting hunger this summer. These foods included whole grain crackers, nut butters, fruit cups in juice, granola bars, low-sugar cereals, brown rice pouches, and pop top soups.
Chris Lawrence, parent of two MYBA athletes and volunteer for the Millers 12AAA team, said shopping for this food was a no-brainer – he simply chose nutritious foods that he would want to feed his own children.
How You Can Get Involved
The Food Group is extremely grateful for our partnership with the Minneapolis Millers 12AAA team. We are blown away by the energy and commitment of these kids to fighting local childhood hunger.
Would you like to join these athletes in Striking Out Summer Hunger? Donate to their fundraising page here and help them reach their goal of providing over 25,000 meals to local kids fighting hunger!
This post was written by Amber Mayer, Development & Marketing Associate for The Food Group. Questions? Email Amber.