Yankees' Home Run for Hungry

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The New York Yankees are known for very high-priced players, a very expensive new stadium and some of the costliest tickets for games. But this year they are sharing some of the wealth with their neighbors. For the first time, leftovers from game days are going to nearby food stations to help those who are struggling. Reed Galin reports.

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(Locator: New York, NY)
(Volunteer on the serving line) “Italian sausage and peppers…”
…eight dollars.
(Volunteer on the serving line) “Chicken fingers and French fries...”
The food, like everything about Yankee Stadium, is expensive. But a twelve-dollar burger inside is free on the sidewalk in front of Woodycrest United Methodist Church, just a few blocks away.
The Rev. Denise Pickett, Woodycrest United Methodist Church: “My congregation feels differently about the Yankees than they did before because they see that they are reaching out beyond their walls.”
(Man in line) “Yeah so, we eatin’ good off the Yankees now, right?”
The Rev. Denise Pickett: “They are big walls. Big walls!”
The new colossus cost 1.3 billion dollars to build in The Bronx, one of the poorest areas of New York. Game tickets average a few hundred bucks- best seats cost $2600. But also new this season, the Yankees share unsold food with Woodycrest and others through the group “Rock and Wrap It Up.”
Evelyn Curry, Bronx Resident: “I was very surprised about that. We don’t get this! No one comes and offers anything to the neighborhood like this.”
(Girl shows food) “A hot dog.”
The Rev. Denise Pickett:  “The Yankees have been here for 85 years and I think they’re beginning to understand what giving this food means. This helps to make their food stretch especially for seniors who are on medications.”
Woodycrest feeds 100 people once or twice a week. And after baseball season, they’ll get leftovers from hockey and basketball games at Madison Square Garden. But at the moment…
(Volunteer to young girl) “Come get you a cookie.”
…their neighbors in the Bronx have extra reason to root for the pinstripes to play all the way through The World Series. 
Frankie Hailey, Bronx Resident, Woodycrest Member: “I think it’s important that they share, that they are giving something to the community.”

Woodycrest Church is one of a number of agencies in the feeding program. The effort is coordinated by the anti-poverty organization Rock and Wrap It Up. It works with sports and concert venues, hotels and other businesses in many cities to redirect otherwise wasted food to pantries, food banks, and soup kitchens.
For more information, contact Woodycrest United Methodist at 718-538-7500 or Rock and Wrap It Up at 877- 691-FOOD.

Also, see: 'Little church with big heart' catches Yankees’ pitch

Posted: September 23, 2009