Miami Marlins donate meals to front-line workers at local hospitals

MIAMI (WSVN) - The Miami Marlins are helping front-line workers by delivering meals to local hospitals, days before they’re set to return to the diamond.

Before they step up to the plate on Friday, the Marlins and its foundation stepped up by donating meals to nurses and other healthcare workers all over Miami-Dade County in celebration of opening day.

The team is in Atlanta on Tuesday for an exhibition game against the Braves, but representatives from the Marlins Foundation delivered the meals.

Their first stop was Jackson Memorial Hospital.

“The work that all of our front-line workers are doing during this difficult time is incredible, and we want to acknowledge their efforts,” said Rocky Egusquiza, executive director of the Miami Marlins Foundation.

“Yes, we are working very hard, but this ‘thank you’ really puts a smile in our hearts,” said JMH nurse administrator Karen Strauss.

The Home Plate Meals Relief Fund was started in April to support healthcare professionals, front-line workers, students and seniors.

“Our Home Plate Relief Fund to date has donated over 350,000 meals in the community, and we’re extremely proud of our efforts,” said Egusquiza.

With the number of COVID-19 cases climbing in parts of South Florida, hospital workers don’t have time to think about where and what to eat.

“Food just makes everybody happy. It puts a smile on their face,” said Strauss. “Something about food, for everybody, it’s just like, ‘Oh, thank God. We don’t have time to eat,’ and we’re so happy, so thank you so much to the Marlins.”

The baseball team also partnered with World Red Eye to create masks made out of Marlins uniforms.

“Baseball is a unifying factor for a community. We’re excited to have baseball back, and we know how important our front-line workers are,” said Egusquiza. “We want to make sure we’re acknowledging them throughout the season.”

The Marlins are expected to deliver meals to Jackson South Medical Center on Thursday and Jackson North Medical Center on Friday.

“We know there’s a lot more work to do, and it’s been amazing to see the outpouring of support from our sponsors, from our community, from volunteers during these difficult times, to see what we’re made of, and South Florida is strong,” said Egusquiza.

The Marlins are set to open their season in Philadelphia.

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