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Cubs Charities, RBI All-Stars partner for day of service at Greater Chicago Food Depository

2 months agoAndy Martinez

For many years, Kate Maehr and the Greater Chicago Food Depository looked forward to the time off that came on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

But the executive director and CEO of the Greater Chicago Food Depository realized that the organization had tremendous potential to serve the message of Dr. King on a day dedicated to him.

“For so long, I think we thought about this, many people, as a day that’s a day off,” Maehr said. “But to really reflect on the meaning of this day and to really think how we put service into action to support our community, I think that is the promise of this holiday.”

So that’s why Chicago Cubs Charities, the Cubs RBI All-Stars program and Cubs players partnered with the Greater Chicago Food Depository in a day of service in honor and celebration of Dr. King.

“I think Cubs Charities does such a great job with that, with the RBI program, partnering up with them,” said Ian Happ, who was packing food and boxes Monday morning with teammate Jason Heyward. “It’s special what the Cubs and the players are willing to do in the community.”

Various members of the Cubs RBI All-Stars program arrived before 9 a.m. to register and for an orientation. They were then divided up into groups that worked at different stations, packing food boxes that would then be dispersed throughout Chicago.

“We feel so overwhelmed with gratitude, so humbled, to have the Cubs Charities and all these incredible young leaders here today rolling up their sleeves, making sure that our neighbors have food,” Maehr said. “Our hearts are filled with gratitude.”

For Happ and Heyward, it was special to finally make it out to the building that houses the Greater Chicago Food Depository. Both have made donations to the program in the last year.

Heyward donated $100,000 to the Greater Chicago Food Depository during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“For me, I think it’s awesome to see it becoming a new standard for people to want to give back and be eager to do so,” Heyward said. “To give back when people are in need or need a pick me up, it’s special, it’s close to my heart. I love the city. [I] live here in the city of Chicago. Always great to spread love.”

Happ partnered with Connect Roasters to start his own coffee line, Quarantine Coffee, in May where a portion of proceeds went to first responders and other organizations, including the Greater Chicago Food Depository.

“Just a really awesome experience,” Happ said. “Just to see where the contribution is going to, to see how hard the people are working here and the impact, that’s the coolest part for us.”

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