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Yankees’ food drive nets 35 tons of food

Yankee fans trucked 70,000 non-perishable pounds of canned foods and pasta to old Yankee Stadium Thursday, December 11. Next year, the team will stage its annual holiday food drive across the street in its new facility.

“Now is an important time for the Yankees to give back,” said Brian Smith, a senior vice president with the club. “We’re based in the Bronx, and we want to be a good neighbor. We want to make a difference.”

The Yankees partnered with Goya Foods, the country’s largest Hispanic-owned food company. Goya matched the fans’ generosity pound-for-pound, donating 20,000 pounds of Goya Food.

Yankees corporate staff spent the afternoon collecting donations at 161st Street, west of River Avenue. Fans dropping off at least 25 pounds of food received a pair of 2009 baseball tickets. The Yankees encouraged donations of tomato sauce, vegetables and canned meat; Goya supplied the rice.

“The food drive went well,” Smith said. “Even with the cold weather and rain we had, it was a successful day.”

Volunteers sorted the food Saturday, December 12 at the Kingsbridge Armory. Then local clergy whisked it away for distribution to hungry Bronxites.

“We’re constantly supporting community-based organizations,” Smith said. “But the food drive is our biggest outreach. Goya helped us transport the food from the stadium to the Armory.”

The Yankees channeled $1.5 million in 2008 All-Star Game proceeds to New York City charities and non-profits this year. Borough contracts for the new stadium’s construction will eventually reach $130 million.

No Yankee players participated this year’s food drive, the organization’s 15th.

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