Yankee Stadium Gives Out Free Food… Sort Of

One of the biggest allures of seeing a baseball game is the food. Sure, all sports’ stadiums sell food of some sort, but only baseball has the deep emotional connection to hot dogs, nachos, and all the other sensory overloaders that come with an evening at the ballpark.

Yankees Hot Dog
(Yum.)

So it would seem that the best food - moldy hot dog buns aside - would have to come from Yankee Stadium, right? But how are you going to actually find out without buying a ticket then dropping like $15 on a pretzel or whatever they charge? Well, there is a way to get free food from the game. There’s a tiny, miniscule little catch, though.

You have to be homeless. Yes, according to the NEW YORK TIMES, Yankee Stadium donates its prepared, unserved food to the needy after every game:

Into the 11th inning and after the game, the food came off freight elevators from luxury boxes, clubs and concession stands, in metal trays, on rolling racks and in boxes.

Carl Thomas, a warehouse worker recovering from his own hard times, packs the prepared, unserved food that is delivered after each game to hungry people.

“I just feel good doing this, you know?” Thomas said in a quiet, gravelly voice.

The food was headed to a local church, not to a distant landfill, because of Rock and Wrap It Up, an antipoverty think tank that arranges for churches, shelters and agencies to pick up postgame and postconcert leftovers for their pantries, food banks and soup kitchens.

Bully on you, Yankee Stadium! One of the greatest injustices about American society is the sheer amount of food wasted while people go hungry. Sure, the hungry sometimes have some agency in the circumstances that led them to needing to eat at food shelters, and we’re not discounting that. But when you’re hungry, you’re hungry, and the larger issues of “enabling” sort of fall by the wayside.

The program has been going on for nearly 20 years, though it’s the first time we’d heard of it or any program like it (then again, publicity doesn’t do them as much good as it does for “normal” charities). But it stands to reason, after all, that with such large amounts of food being prepared, the only thing keeping it from going to the needy instead of the dumpster is an efficient, reliable method of delivery. Sure, it doesn’t have to be efficient or reliable, we suppose, but in terms of long-term sustainability, they kind of help.

But we’re getting away from the topic at hand: the Yankees’ organization doing something good for their community and not acting like the money-grabbing buttholes we usually think of them as. Kudos.