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The La Grande baseball team has 137 hits so far this season. For each hit the team gets, the Red Cross Drug Store is donating $1 to the Union County Food Bank. (Courtesy photo)
by Casey Kellas/The Observer
The La Grande baseball team needs to keep on racking up those hits.
It’s for a good cause.
For every hit the Tigers get this season, the La Grande Red Cross Drug Store is donating $1 to the Union County Food Bank.
So far, LHS has 137 hits through 18 games this season.
The Tigers have five more games remaining in the regular season, but postseason games count, too.
“We’re really just trying to raise awareness about the food bank,” Red Cross Drug Store’s Darcy Blackman said.
LHS head coach Mark Lanman is the one who came up with the idea of donating money for each hit, and so far his team is coming through.
“Every Tuesday I see them handing out food, and I noticed the last couple of years the line getting longer,” Lanman said.
“And it’s sad. So I figured if there is something we can do to help, why not?”
But the hits aren’t the only way the team is generating cash.
There is also a container at the concession stands at Optimist Field during Tiger home games where fans can donate money to the food bank.
And if you don’t think $1 goes a long ways, think again.
“Every dollar donated gives us access to between five to six pounds of food,” said Carmen Gentry, assistant manager for the Community Connection Food Bank Program.
While all donations are donor directed, according to Gentry, the money the LHS baseball team is raising will likely be converted to pounds and dispersed to the food pantries in Union County.
Blackman said the goal at the start was to raise $500.
“The more we can do to raise awareness, the better,” Blackman said.
Gentry said there are a lot of ways for anyone to get involved with local food banks, adding that all donations are tax deductible.
So far this year, Gentry said her office has received $11,000 in donations for Union, Wallowa, Baker and Grant counties.
The easiest food drive to participate in is the Letter Carrier Food Drive May 11.
According to Gentry, if people leave a bag of food on their doorstep or by their mailbox, the local carrier will collect it to be donated.
“It’s easy and for a good cause,” she added.
The La Grande baseball team is doing their part.