Hundreds of turkeys were passed out to underserved families by San Diego Padres pitchers of the past Monday morning in preparation for Thanksgiving.
Randy Jones and Brett Tomko, alongside other volunteers, handed out food at Home Plate Gate at Petco Park.
“We’re distributing a bunch of turkeys and holiday meals to people in need in our community,” said James Floros, president and CEO of the Jacobs and Cushman San Diego Food Bank. “We’re going to help about 800 families today.”
The Miramar-based food bank and the local baseball team came together for the three-hour event that started at 9 a.m.
“A few years ago, we started talking about what we can do for families in need during the holidays, and the Padres stepped up and said, ‘Hey, let’s distribute turkeys, let’s partner with you guys, and let’s make a difference,’” Floros told NBC 7.
Jones, who has been doing drives for years, said no matter how it started, “It makes all the difference in the world to these families. It feels good to be out here and giving back.”
One in eight adults and one in five children face food insecurity throughout the county, according to Jacobs and Cushman San Diego Food Bank’s website.
“We have half a million people in our community who don’t know where their next meal is coming from,” Floros said. “To have something like this that helps lift their family up, help them have a better holiday, and put food on the table – it doesn’t get any better than that.”
Floros said local food banks’ budgets are stretched thin during the holidays, so events like this one can make a big impact.
“To have a special day on Thanksgiving,” Jones said. “We can make a difference one family at a time.”
Jones and Tomko were seen high-fiving kids and laughing with families as they passed out food.
The local food bank serves 370,000 people every month, according to its website. The Jacobs and Cushman San Diego Food Bank distributed 28 million pounds of food, during the previous fiscal year.
Its distribution partners include King Chavez Elementary School, Sherman Elementary School, and Mariner's Park on Naval Base San Diego.