Dodgers Foundation to Launch Drive-Thru Series in Response to COVID-19 Needs Assessment

Howard Cole

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation (LADF) today released its Dodgers RBI COVID-19 Needs Assessment sharing the impact of the pandemic on households and how they have adapted support during this time.

Outcomes of the assessment informed the launch of the Dodger Day Drive-Thru Series presented by ARCO, which will take place over five (5) days in June, providing over 132,000 meals for 4,000 Dodgers RBI families registered in the organization’s sports-based youth development program. The “drive-thru” model, adjusted from its in-person format, will provide over $480,000 in food boxes, exercise and fitness resources, softball and baseball equipment, books, and educational support to feed families and help youth stay active and healthy. LADF will also use Hunger Not Impossible, a text-based hunger solution that connects the food insecure with much-needed meals, to provide an additional 1,500 meals to families in the city of Compton.

The complete COVID-19 Dodgers RBI Needs Assessment can be found at Dodgers.com/DodgersRBI.

“Prior to the pandemic we were already on the ground in these communities that need support the most,” said Tiffany Rubin, LADF Director of Youth Programs. “Our Dodgers RBI families have been hit extremely hard by this pandemic. As we shift from relief to recovery, it is important to meet our families in their communities and listen to what they need to help them thrive. We are proud to partner with parks and recreation departments, Dodger team sponsors and donors to launch this series complementing our ongoing Dodgers RBI virtual season.”

A survey was sent in English and Spanish to 6,688 participants with questions focused on school districts, ages, geographic location of the youth, access to resources, internet access, effects of school closures on the household, effects of the pandemic on parents, physical activity of youth, and what kind of programming parents felt would be most beneficial during this time. From loss of household income to the loss of positive social environments for their kids, families shared that their needs are vast and vary across neighborhoods. With 59% of families experiencing a decrease of income due to the pandemic, basic needs emerged, and families are concerned for the social, emotional, physical, and mental wellness of their children. With over 80% of Dodgers RBI youth eligible for free and reduced lunch at their schools, families are earning 130% of the federal poverty line or less and rely on school-based food programs. Dodgers RBI youth in smaller districts, outside of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), have less access to “grab and go” centers.

Later this month, in partnership with Hunger Not Impossible, the text-based hunger solution, LADF will also provide 1,500 meals Dodgers RBI families, who earn less than $20,000 annually.

In addition to Community Ambassador Bank of America, 2020 Dodgers RBI program sponsors include: 99 Cents Only Stores, ARCO, California Masonic Foundation, Dasani, Stephen R. Dennis Memorial Fund, Gatorade, Helen and Will Webster Foundation, Kershaw’s Challenge, LA84 Foundation, Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, Los Angeles County Department of Water and Power, Melissa’s Produce, Nike, and UCLA Health.

The Dodgers and Dodgers Foundation launched joint relief efforts in early April and have worked with team partners to provide more than 145,000 meals and more than $177,000 worth of food, water, hygiene necessities, gift cards and Dodger products to community organizations. For more information on relief efforts, educational programs and community resources, please visit Dodgers.com/Relief.

About Dodgers RBI:

Dodgers RBI is a sports-based youth development program founded by the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation for ages 5-18 that uses baseball and softball participation to provide kids life-changing social and emotional learning and access to health care and educational opportunities. As they develop self-confidence and empathy through sport, LADF unlocks access to health care and educational opportunities as well as provides a place where the kids can feel safe while they play and learn. Although on-the-field programming remains suspended due to COVID-19, LADF continues to support youth, parents and coaches which virtual, free coaches’ trainings, parent workshops, fitness and nutrition activities, baseball and softball Dodger Drills video series, college-prep sessions, health and education resources, and more. To learn more about Dodgers RBI, visit Dodgers.com/DodgersRBI.

About the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation:

The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation is bigger than baseball with ambitions to be the city’s premier charity. We want to impact Los Angeles’ most pressing problems: improving access to education, health care, affordable housing, youth programs and social justice. Since 1995, we have invested more than $30 million in programs and grants to nonprofits, and fundraising has increased by 1,000% since 2012. That growth has enabled us to do more.

Visit LADF online at www.dodgers.com/ladf, follow them on Twitter, @DodgersFdn, Instagram, @dodgersfoundation, and like them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LosAngelesDodgersFoundation. 

The above is quoted directly from Los Angeles Dodgers PR.

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