Curtis Granderson Knocks Hunger Out of the Park
Hunger The New York Mets outfielder is making food insecurity the priority of his many humanitarian efforts.
Curtis Granderson is considered one of the most philanthropic athletes in professional sports. When he's not playing professional baseball, the three-time MLB All Star is busy running the Grand Kids Foundation (est. 2007), acting as the spokesperson for The White House’s Let’s Move anti-obesity campaign and Partnership for a Healthier America’s Drink Up (H20) initiative, or serving as a Major League Baseball International Ambassador.
Putting hunger first
The son of two educators, Granderson's off-field philanthropic efforts have always included a combination of youth education and inner city athletics, preaching the importance of education and healthy lifestyles.
“...more than 37 percent of people who receive food from the Greater Chicago Food Depository are children.”
However, what Curtis and the Grand Kids Foundation soon learned was that providing education and athletic opportunities wasn't enough; there was a far greater issue at-hand in the inner-cities in which the foundation served—food insecurity. In Granderson's hometown of Chicago, 1 in 5 children are at risk of hunger daily and more than 37 percent of people who receive food from the Greater Chicago Food Depository are children.
In 2013, the Grand Kids Foundation launched Grand Giving, an annual month-long hunger relief campaign hosted each November in Chicago and most recently, New York City. To date, Grand Giving has raised nearly 1,000,000 meals via it's Check Out to Help Out grocery partner program, which turns dollars raised into meals served.
Major league change
Granderson's hunger relief efforts have made their way to the big leagues in 2014 when the veteran outfielder partnered with Citi for their Community Home Runs program. Now in its third year, the campaign turns every home run the Mets hit at Citi Field into a donation of $2,000 to No Kid Hungry—enough to provide 20,000 meals to kids in need.
Food insecurity affects every city across the United States, which is why in 2016 Curtis Granderson donated his annual MLB meal allowance to Per Diems Against Poverty, and his Grand Kids Foundation continues working hard to give children the ability to connect with their peers, freeing up food purchasing funds for other programs and helping struggling families stretch their food budgets. Here’s one athlete that’s ensuring hunger strikes out.