Garth Brooks is joining all 30 Major League Baseball clubs and dozens of big league players in an effort to strike out childhood hunger.
Launching the new “Home Plate Project,” the initiative is a partnership between Brooks’ longstanding Teammates For Kids Foundation and Big League Impact, founded by St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright and supported by Minnesota Twins pitcher Kyle Gibson.
The plan includes over $900,000 of charity commitment overall, with more than a third of that coming straight out of the players’ pockets. They’ll join their clubs to support local charity groups in August, making a direct difference by delivering food to low-income households, packing backpacks full of non-perishable items, opening food pantries and most importantly, raising awareness of the issue. All told, the plan is to reach at least 25,000 kids and provide more than 3.6 million meals — which is sadly still just a drop in the bucket when you consider that one in six children in the U.S. does not know where they will get their next meal.
“Teammates for Kids started with 67 baseball players 20 years ago, and as we look forward, we are excited to launch this project with ballplayers from every MLB team to help fight childhood hunger,” Brooks said in an official statement. “The Home Plate Project is special for Teammates for Kids because it incorporates our founding principles of teaming up with athletes who have a passion for helping kids, such as Adam Wainwright and Kyle Gibson who help kids around the world through Big League Impact. The beauty of it all, 100 percent of the money that is getting donated to this effort will feed children in local communities.”
“The collaboration between our foundation, Big League Impact, and Garth’s foundation, Teammates for Kids, all came together during Spring Training this year,” Wainwright added. “Garth loves helping kids, and I care deeply about providing the basic essential needs that are so important to everyday living, such as food, water and shelter, which many of us often take for granted. It has been a tremendous blessing for me to see so many players, who compete against each other every day, unite together to help children across the country, in every Major League city, who are in need.”
Each team has at least one ambassador taking part in the initiative, including Clayton Kershaw and David Freese of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Aaron Hicks of the New York Yankees, and Josh Bell and Trevor Williams of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Earlier this year, Brooks signed a spring-training contract with the Pirates to draw more attention to the cause, and to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Teammates for Kids. The country legend is currently performing in small clubs as part of his Dive Bar Tour, promote his new “Dive Bar” collaboration with Blake Shelton.