GRAPEVINE, Texas -- While the kids participating in the 2014 Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) World Series are in the Dallas-Fort Worth area this weekend to play baseball, Major League Baseball has given the chance for the kids to give back to the community that is hosting them.
The MLB RBI program teamed up with the North Texas Food Bank, a non-profit hunger relief organization that distributes donated, purchased and prepared meals to kids, families and seniors throughout the North Texas area.
"All 300 kids participated in food packing to provide nutritious meals for kids in the North Texas area," said Katie Ringel, who is with Major League Baseball at the RBI World Series. "It's really great to see that this community has embraced us and opened their arms to us to allow the RBI program to give back to kids that don't have those opportunities."
The RBI Program offers the chance for kids to succeed on the field, and, as Commissioner Bud Selig said in his tournament introductory speech to the RBI kids, "RBI provides its participants with experiences and lessons that go beyond baseball and allow them to grow as individuals."
Between the junior and senior division age groups, there are 16 teams participating this weekend, giving each kid the chance to be active in the community and giving back to those that are less fortunate.
"It's really important for the kids to get to give back," said Ringel. "While they're having the time of their lives this weekend, that may not be the case for people that are really their peers. So it's important for them to understand that and that they really appreciate all the opportunities that they have in their life."
The North Texas Food Bank provides access to nearly 175,000 nutrition meals everyday across 13 counties. According to the North Texas Food Bank website, every dollar donated provides three meals to hungry North Texans, and out of every dollar, 93 cents goes directly to hunger relief programs.
The families that receive the meals from the North Texas Food Bank are without question grateful for the efforts of the nonprofit organization, but after the RBI players got to give back to the community, they appear to be the grateful ones.
"[The community service event] made me really happy," said Anaheim Angels RBI shortstop Coby Kauhaahaa. "We have to give back. This community has given us a lot this weekend."
"They told us the total number of kids we were able to feed and it just makes you feel good. That's a lot of food we gave out and to see all the smiles on the kids' faces was rewarding. That's what it's all about."
Ryan Cox is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.