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KIRO Radio and Seattle Mariners team up to Fight Hunger

Photo by Ben VanHouten

With the school year coming to an end, Safeco Field will be packed Saturday night with families enjoying plenty of peanuts and Cracker Jacks, not to mention all the other taste treats from tacos to turkey legs.

But at the same time, far too many others will be home fighting hunger pangs because they simply don’t have enough to eat.

The Mariners and KIRO Radio 97.3 FM are partnering to do something about that, staging the annual Fight Hunger food and fund drive to help benefit Northwest Harvest

“Summertime is an especially hard time for them, because kids don’t get two meals a day since they’re not in school, so there’s a lot more pressure on food banks and pantries around the state of Washington,” said Rebecca Hale, Mariners spokesperson.

Volunteers will be outside all the entrances to the ballpark starting at 5:00 p.m. accepting non-perishable food and cash donations. Game time versus the Rangers is 7:10 p.m.

You can also make donations online at

“This is a really important time for them and it’s something we are really proud to do to get people to focus on an issue that touches so many more people than most of us even realize,” Hale said.

“It’s part of our mission at KIRO to not only deliver the news, but truly serve the community. This is one way for all of us to say ‘yes, we care,’ and make a real difference,” said Pete Gammell, Director of News and Programming for KIRO Radio.

Last year, Northwest Harvest distributed more than 34 million pounds of food to 380 food banks across the state, serving millions of meals to hungry people.

“The need is greater than ever,” said Jessie Swingle, Communications Manager for Northwest Harvest. “We don’t get any government funding and rely solely on donations from individual, businesses, foundations and other organizations to help feed our neighbors.”

What’s truly amazing is how small a donation can make such a big impact. Because Northwest Harvest deals in such high volumes and keeps administrative costs so low, it can provide a nutritious meal for a family of four for just 67 cents. For the cost of just one ballpark beer, you can feed over 10 families.

“It’s amazing the work they do. It’s mind boggling to think how little it takes to make such a big difference. And one of the things we love about our fans is they are so generous, they do respond, and that’s why we keep doing this,” Hale said.

If you want to bring some non-perishable food to the ball, some of the suggested items include oatmeal, whole grain pasta, canned vegetables, canned fruit, fish or meat, shelf-stable milk, baby formula, infant cereal, jarred baby food, powdered or canned milk.

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