SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Helping fight hunger in western Massachusetts has earned national accolades for the American International College baseball team.
The American International College baseball team delivered food to Lorraine’s Soup Kitchen & Pantry in Chicopee.
Community service that’s earned the team finalist recognition from the NCAA for its “Homerun for the Hungry” food drive. It’s been a community service mainstay for the players for the past four years.
Their coach Nick Callini is so proud of them, “you know the thank you that you get, the non-stop, that’s when it kind of hits home, you realize how much you’re giving back to the community.”
The appreciation for the support the AIC baseball team gave to the “Homerun for the Hungry” food drive, is reflected in the response from the food pantry’s executive director, Ruben Reyes. “They came at an incredible time when the need was very heavy and we have a growing need every single day. So to have a team and a group to donate such an amount of food to us, it’s an unbelievable help.”
AIC’s Interim Athletic Director Jessica Chapin added, “Being a finalist for the NCAA Division II Award of Excellence speaks volumes to our student-athletes’ commitment to service. The baseball team has been steadfast in their support of feeding the hungry and what they have been able to do over the last four years is truly remarkable, raising nearly 7,000 pounds of food for local food pantries. We are very proud of the efforts all our programs and student-athletes make in their community engagement efforts and giving back to the Springfield community.”
Unfortunately the pandemic prevented a “Homerun for the Hungry” food drive this past year, but coach Nick Callini’s players promise to take the field again for future food drives that are the lifeblood of food pantries helping so many families in need.