Over the past year the Arizona Diamondbacks have been lauded as a model organization. From their fan-centered focus and game day operations to them being listed as one of the best places to work; people have begun to notice the Diamondbacks and not just on the field.
One of perhaps the less heralded areas where this franchise does not get the credit it so richly deserves is in community outreach. After the team was awarded on March 9, 1995 the Diamondbacks developed a group to help give back to the community. The Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation charities have helped many groups and individuals throughout the years and in 2012 they have stepped up their game.
On the eve of Diamondbacks FanFest, the Diamondbacks Foundation announced the first 2012 winner of a Grand Slam Award that gives local groups much needed funding to carry out humanitarian and other services to those in need.
The first 2012 recipient of a Grand Slam Award that comes with a $100,000 grant from the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation goes to Kitchen on the Street. Founded in 2007, Kitchen on the Street partners with local schools to provide backpacks of food to struggling children. The program serves 900 kids each weekend to help stop hunger in Arizona.
The grant will allow Kitchen in the Street to purchase a mobile kitchen that will be able to travel around Arizona to bring nutritional information and food to the hungry. Any proceeds made from this mobile kitchen will be used to fund the Bags of Hope backpacks for the children.
As part of the award, Kitchen in the Street will have a booth at Diamondbacks FanFest where people can drop off food items to be included in the program. Volunteers will be on hand to answer questions.
This is an outstanding program, which hopes to help the 20.2 percent of children under the age of 18 in Arizona who do not have enough to eat; a percentage that is the fifth highest in the country. School age children who do not have to worry about whether they will eat should allow them to focus on their education even during these hard economic times.
Congratulations to Kitchen on the Street and well done by the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation for selecting such a worthy effort to award one of their five Grand Slam Awards.