PHOENIX — The Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation announced today the first of five Grand Slam Awards that will be given to local Arizona non-profit organizations in the coming months. Kitchen on the Street, which fights hunger among children in Phoenix, received a $100,000 grant from the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation, which will be used to purchase and create a mobile kitchen.
Kitchen on the Street will be on hand tomorrow at the Subway D-backs FanFest at Chase Field, where fans will have the opportunity to volunteer for the organization.
“We are so appreciative of the efforts of Kitchen on the Street in helping to fight hunger here in Arizona,” said D-backs’ President and CEO Derrick Hall. “The work that they do each and every day made them a very deserving recipient of our Grand Slam award and we’re very proud to assist in their efforts.”
Founded in 2007, Kitchen on the Street partners with Arizona schools to provide Bags of Hope (backpacks of food) to children struggling with food insecurity. The program serves more than 900 children each weekend and has expanded to include services such as assisting partner schools in establishing and maintaining clothing closets on campus and hosting monthly fresh food distributions.
“We are honored to partner with the Diamondbacks in this mission to turn hunger into hope,” said Kitchen on the Street CEO & Co-Founder Lisa Scarpinato. “The mobile kitchen is a game-changer for Kitchen on the Street and the hungry of our community. It proves how committed the D-backs are to improving the community.”
At the annual Subway D-backs FanFest tomorrow, approximately 2,000 Bags of Hope will be packed by volunteers from Kitchen on the Street and Diamondbacks fans on hand at Chase Field. The free event takes place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and includes opportunities to receive autographs from D-backs players, take a tour of the clubhouse and much more.
The $100,000 donated by the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation to Kitchen on the Street will be used to purchase an actual “Kitchen on the Street” that will travel around the city bringing nutritional knowledge and food to the hungry. It will be an active part of the culinary community and any proceeds generated from the mobile kitchen will fund Bags of Hope for hungry Arizona children.
Next month, the D-backs and the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation will surpass $30 million in combined donations since their inception in 1998. The organization focuses its charitable efforts in three main areas – homelessness, indigent health care and youth programs of all kinds.
In Arizona, 20.2% of children under the age of 18 are food insecure, the fifth-highest rate in the country according to the Association of Arizona Food Banks. Children who are part of backpack programs such as Kitchen on the Street have increased school test score performance by as much as 23% in math and 30% in reading.