BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Orioles kick off the 27th annual Food and Funds Drive. And as part of our continuing community commitment, WJZ is a proud sponsor of the event.

Linh Bui explains why the food drive is even more important this year.

WJZ will be live at Camden Yards all weekend. There’s such a huge need for donations, and it’s incredibly easy for you to help out.

Don’t just watch the plays on the field, look for your WJZ friends and other volunteers at the gate.

This weekend at Camden Yards, you can donate money or non-perishable food items. And it all goes to the Maryland Food Bank, which desperately needs help.

“There’s nearly half a million Marylanders who don’t know where their next meal is coming from. A hundred-and-sixty-two-thousand of them are children. So we just really need the help this year,” said Kate Sam, Maryland Food Bank.

The food immediately goes out to 600 soup kitchens, pantries and shelters. Cash donations go toward buying tens of thousands of turkeys for the holidays.

“People losing their jobs. And they just can’t go out and afford to get the things they need from the market. That’s when we come in, get the donations in and we get the stuff out to people,” said Anthony Dickens, freezer.

The good news is the food bank sees fewer middle class families. But so many others are still struggling.

“People that have traditionally been at risk of hunger–seniors, children, the working poor–they’re falling through the cracks,” Sam said.

Eight or nine years ago, the shelves at the food bank would be full of donations. But these days, it’s common to see them 30 to 40 percent empty.

Last year, the Orioles Food Drive collected 4,000 pounds of food and raised $20,000. This year, organizers want to beat that.

“There’s 45,000 seats in Oriole Park. So just imagine if every person at the game brought even a dollar. That’s $45,000 that could be helping kids and families in need,” Sam said.

It’s a chance for everyone to pitch in.

And there are three games this weekend, which means if every person who came out gave a dollar, we could raise nearly $150,000.

Even if you don’t go to a game, you can still donate. Just click here.


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