BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Pushing for a home run on and off the field. It’s a big weekend as the Orioles host the rival New York Yankees. WJZ, MASN and the birds are teaming up to help the Maryland Food Bank.

Marcus Washington has more on how you can help stock the shelves.

For decades, fans have been excited to see their O’s play. And that excitement and support transcends the game to giving. For 28 years, fans have supported the Maryland Food Bank’s food drive, and this year is no different.

“Hunger happens year round. So, in fact, summer is a really critical time for us,” said Meg Kimmel, Maryland Food Bank.

According to the Maryland Food Bank, there are nearly half a million people in Maryland who don’t know where their next meal will come from. Close to 200,000 of those are children.

“Only about 15 percent of kids who are able to access food assistance are doing so during the summer. So this drive really helps out,” Kimmel said.

To give is easy. Just look for the buckets outside Oriole Park or the WJZ news team to donate money or nonperishable food items on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The money donated this weekend will go towards purchasing thousands of turkeys for families in need during the holiday seasons. The nonperishable food items are donated to 600 soup kitchens, pantries and shelters across the state.

“We’re a 24/7 operation. We distribute food 12 months out of the year,” said Kimmel.

In 2012, the drive saw $20,000 in donations, along with 4,000 pounds of food. In 2013, it was even better, with more than $33,000 and nearly 10,000 pounds of food.

“We are looking to beat that record this year for sure,” Kimmel said.

To give is truly a small gesture that will have a long and lasting impact.

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