Stadiums Pitch in to Feed the Hungry

sydmandelbaumIn 1994, Syd Mandelbaum (left) — a biker-looking heavily-tattooed scientist, and the son of two Holocaust survivors — started a group with a simple mission, providing food that was otherwise wasted to the hungry. He did so initially by approaching rock groups and asking them to donate their unused backstage food to his organization.

In 2003, after reading an article about Mandelbaum, Detroit Tigers pitcher Mike Maroth’s wife, Brooke started thinking about what the Tigers do with their leftover food. Amidst one of the franchise’s worst seasons, and her husband losing 21 games, the Maroths and the Tigers got together with Mandelbaum to begin donating all their leftover concession foods and other perishables that otherwise would just have been thrown out. The Tigers became the first organization to do so; currently, 31 sports franchises are involved in the program in addition to rock bands, movie studios and school cafeterias.

“Our thinking was, ‘With all of the hungry people out there, why throw this food away?’ ” said Mike Maroth, “What we found was, it was such an easy process to get it to people who needed it. All someone had to do was wrap it up, and Syd sent one of his local reps around to pick it up.”

On average the sports teams and stadiums donate anywhere between 500-1000 items — all of which previously just were tossed into a landfill — worth between $5,000-10,000, to those most in need the food goes a long way.

“Gandhi said, ‘Poverty is our worst disease and hunger is its worst symptom,’ ” says Mandelbaum. “Hunger is a sidebar to poverty, which explains why some children have trouble learning in school, or why some adults engage in antisocial behavior. But we can end that.” Mandelbaum believes the remedy lies in “logistics, finding a way to get from Point A [where the unused food is located] to Point B [the hungry].” Mandelbaum’s group estimates that in spending only $15,000 a year to arrange for meals that they reach over 2.5 million hungry mouths every year.

The group has a very simple and elegant motto: “Just take it and use it.”

Relying solely on volunteers for its staff, Rock and Wrap It Up always can use more people to help out, if you’re interested you should contact them directly via their website.


0 Responses to “Stadiums Pitch in to Feed the Hungry”

  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow The Slanch Report

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 19 other subscribers

Sign Our Petition!

The Slanch Report has started an online petition asking the MLB Network to air the Dock Ellis no-hitter he threw on June 12, 1970 against the San Diego Padres. The moment was a seminal piece of baseball history and is certainly worthy of being rerun.

Please join us in this cause and sign the petition below so we can all share in this special and fantastic moment of baseball history. THANKS!

September 2009


%d bloggers like this: