It may not have been from a crowd of 42,000 at Citi Field, but David Wright got a hero’s welcome from about 100 excited kids on Tuesday, July 23, as he helped promote No Kid Hungry’s summer meals program at a middle school in Flushing.
“It’s just a program that I’ve always heard about,” said Wright, who retired from baseball in 2018. “But until you get involved and learn exactly what goes on behind the scenes – it’s quite impressive.”
The No Kid Hungry summer meals program was created to combat childhood hunger during the summer months, when children don’t have the same access to the free meals they receive during the school year.
J.H.S. 189, where the event was hosted, is an open meal site, where kids from around the city can come to get a free meal.
In addition to providing meal sites and summer meals, No Kid Hungry, a national organization that advocates to end childhood hunger in America, has a texting service that allows parents or caregivers to find the three closest meal sites to feed their children.
By texting either ‘FOOD’ or ‘COMIDA’ to 877-877, families can get connected with a meal.
“No matter where you are, you can get the information,” said Rachel Sabella, director of No Kid Hungry New York.
Wright, who retired from baseball in 2018, played several games of corn hole, led the group in a game of trivia and signed lots of hats, shirts and baseballs.
“Fortunately for me, I’ve never had to think about where I’m going to get my meals during the summer,” Wright said. “This program, to come and help the kids, not only in this area, but nationwide, is very, very impressive.”
As for his own meals during the summer months of baseball and beyond, Wright had a go-to option.
“I was always a big peanut butter and jelly guy,” Wright said. “I think maybe I got some hits one day after having a peanut butter and jelly and then it was in my head that I had to have it every day after that.”
For several years running, the Mets have teamed up with Citi to donate $2,000 to No Kid Hungry for every home run at Citi Field, the Mets home turf.
Despite being disappointed in the Mets’ season so far, the former Mets captain said the donation pledge remains something to root for.
“It would do everyone some good if those guys could hit some more homers,” Wright said.