Volunteer pack backpacks with food at the Golden Harvest Food Bank May 17. Charmain Z. Brackett/Augusta Good News
Volunteer pack backpacks with food at the Golden Harvest Food Bank May 17. Charmain Z. Brackett/Augusta Good News

GreenJackets’ staff volunteer to strike out hunger at food bank Friday

Some of the Augusta GreenJackets’ front office staff and season ticket holders hit a homerun for the community Friday as they volunteered to pack backpacks with food for children and their families.

“This is an opportunity for us to be a part of the community. We’re trying to do projects like this. We went to the Ronald McDonald House with the players the Pimento Cheese earlier this week,” said Tom Denlinger, Augusta GreenJackets’ vice president.

Volunteer pack backpacks with food at the Golden Harvest Food Bank May 17. Charmain Z. Brackett/Augusta Good News

 The volunteer effort was in conjunction with the Atlanta Braves Country Road Trip  through Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina and North Carolina this baseball season. It’s making its stop in Augusta this weekend and bringing the Atlanta Braves Foundation along with it. The foundation made a donation of about $10,000 for the backpack food program

The Augusta GreenJackets are a Single A Atlanta Braves minor league team.

Doressa Hawes, the food bank’s volunteer coordinator, said having groups volunteer is vital to the food bank’s mission especially in light of new data related to food insecurity.

“The need is so great now, even greater than it was before,” she said.

According to the latest annual Map the Meal Gap data released by Feeding America, rates of food insecurity in Golden Harvest Food Bank’s service area have surged to one in seven individuals and one in four children currently facing hunger. Previous numbers said that one in nine and one in six children in the 25 county-area in Georgia and South Carolina that the food bank serves faced food insecurity.

Hawes said more volunteers will be needed soon as the produce reclamation center is scheduled for an August grand opening.

As for the Braves Country Road Trip, Denlinger said it will be at the Augusta GreenJackets from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday,  May 17 at SRP Park in North Augusta and at Thunder Over Evans May 18.

“Each stop will feature a ’Pose at the Plate’ experience where fans can step into a replica of Truist Park and pose for their own customizable baseball card. Fans will receive a printout of their baseball card as well as a digital copy to share with family and friends. Fans can also enjoy free giveaways including hats, koozies, posters and more,” according to a news release from the Augusta GreenJackets. “Fans can also enter the Braves Country Road Trip sweepstakes for a chance to win the grand prize of Delta SKY360° Club tickets, VIP Batting Practice Experience, one night stay at the Aloft Hotel at The Battery Atlanta, and a personalized jersey for the game on Saturday, Sept. 7.”

Charmain Z. Brackett, the publisher of Augusta Good News and Inspiring: Women of Augusta, has covered Augusta’s news for 35 years. Reach her at charmain@augustagoodnews.com. Sign up for the newsletter here

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