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Delmarva food banks answer the Perdue Strike Out Hunger Challenge

Salisbury, Md. (Wednesday, July 18, 2012) - Delmarva’s three food banks have stepped up to the plate to raise a combined equivalent of more than 58,000 meals and exceed their challenge goal in response to the 2012 Perdue Strike Out Hunger Challenge on Delmarva, a season-long campaign in conjunction with the Delmarva Shorebirds to help combat hunger.

“The way the food banks and the Shorebirds have embraced the challenge and engaged the community has been an inspiring team effort,” said Bill Hetherington, executive director of the Arthur W. Perdue Foundation. “With the community’s continued support, the campaign, which continues through late August, will be an ever greater success.”
Perdue and the Delmarva Shorebirds, the Class A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles, launched the 2012 Perdue Strike Hunger Challenge in April as a way to continue the awareness and community involvement that was successfully generated through Perdue’s sponsorship of last year’s South Atlantic League ‘Perdue Strike Out Hunger All-Star Game’ promotions. That campaign created more than a quarter of a million meals.

To help drive the season-long Perdue Strike Out Hunger Challenge on Delmarva, Perdue issued a $15,000 challenge grant funded through the Arthur W. Perdue Foundation to benefit the Eastern Shore Branch of the Maryland Food Bank, the Food Bank of Delaware and the Eastern Shore Branch of the Food Bank of Southeastern Virginia.

As a challenge to involve the Delmarva community in fighting hunger on Delmarva, each of the three Delmarva food banks were required to raise the equivalent of 10,000 meals in order to claim their equal share of the first $10,000 of the Foundation challenge grant. This can be any combination of pounds of food collected, funds collected and donated or volunteer efforts from the opening of the 2012 season in April through the final home game of the regular season on Thursday, Aug. 30.

Food banks engage communities to exceed challenge goal
With a few weeks remaining in the season, the three food banks have exceeded their Strike Out Hunger Challenge goal and are aggressively continuing their fund-raising efforts.

The Eastern Shore Branch of the Maryland Food Bank has accumulated the equivalent of more than 24,000 meals through partnerships with local businesses’ food and fund drives as well as warehouse volunteer efforts in Salisbury.

“More than half way through this year’s Strike Out Hunger Challenge, the Maryland Food Bank Eastern Shore has received overwhelming support from community businesses, groups and organizations,” said Jennifer Small, branch manager. “As we continue to work collectively under the mission to strike out hunger on Delmarva, local efforts have provided for more than 24,000 meals through recent food, fund-raising and volunteer activities within the Maryland Food Bank branch in Salisbury.”

The Eastern Shore Branch of the Food Bank of Southeastern Virginia has raised the equivalent of more than 14,100 meals through a variety of local food and fund-raising drives and volunteer hours.

“While our resources are much more limited than the other food banks, our community is very willing and involved in our effort here on Virginia’s Eastern Shore,” said Charmin Horton, Eastern Shore branch manager.

In Delaware, the Food Bank has enlisted community groups in organizing food drives to raise the equivalent of nearly 20,000 meals. 

“The Strike Out Hunger Challenge could not have come at a better time for us as need for assistance increases tremendously when children are not in school,” said Christine Evans, community outreach coordinator for the Food Bank of Delaware. “The community support has been outstanding. We’ve had a number of volunteers come in for our Strike Out Hunger Volunteer Challenge, and we currently have 18 additional registered Strike Out Hunger food and fund-raising drives under way in the local community.”

Perdue has also committed to donating $10 for each time the Shorebirds’ pitchers strike out an opposing batter (up to $5,000). The $5,000 will be split equally between the three Delmarva food banks. Shorebirds’ pitchers have registered more than 370 strikeouts and are on pace to reach their goal of 500. The Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore has agreed to match the Arthur W. Perdue Foundation’s strikeout challenge, making each strikeout worth $20. 

Shorebirds offering Strike Out Hunger promotions
Throughout the regular season, the Shorebirds are running promotions to benefit the Strike Out Hunger campaign.

The Shorebirds designed the season’s 10 Sunday home games as ‘Strike Out Hunger Challenge Sundays.” Fans who bring two non-perishable food items receive a general admission ticket to that day’s game for $2. Food collected from the 10 Sunday home games will be distributed equally among the three food banks.

Additionally, food donation barrels are stationed at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium during all regular season home games, making it easy for fans to help by bringing food to the game or just stopping by the ballpark.

“The Shorebirds are dedicated to fighting hunger on the Delmarva Peninsula,” said Jimmy Sweet, assistant general manager. “Fighting hunger is a growing need and we want to do our part within the community to help out when we can.” 

If you or an organization would like to get involved in the Perdue Strike Out Hunger Challenge on Delmarva campaign, contact the Shorebirds or one of the three participating food banks.

About Perdue
The Perdue Family of Companies includes Perdue Farms, Perdue AgriBusiness, and our shared services organizations. Since our beginning on Arthur Perdue’s farm in 1920, through expansion into agribusiness and the introduction of the PERDUE® brand of chicken and turkey under Frank Perdue, to today’s third-generation of family leadership with Chairman Jim Perdue, we’ve remained a family-owned company dedicated to making Perdue the most-trusted name in food and agricultural products. At the Perdue Family of Companies, we believe in responsible food and agriculture™.

About the Arthur W. Perdue Foundation
?The Arthur W. Perdue Foundation, the charitable giving arm of the Perdue Family of Companies, was established in 1957 by company founder Arthur W. Perdue and is funded through the estates of Arthur W. Perdue and Frank Perdue. As part of our belief in supporting the communities where and with whom we do business, the Foundation provides grants on behalf of the Perdue Family of Companies communities where large numbers of our associates live and work. At the Perdue Family of Companies, we believe in responsible food and agriculture™.

 

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