Diamondbacks' Zac Gallen fighting local childhood hunger with new charitable effort

Arizona Diamondbacks v New York Mets
Arizona Diamondbacks v New York Mets / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages

One in every six kids in Arizona does not have steady access to food and milk, and Zac Gallen is doing something about it. The ZG23 Fund, created by the Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher, will provide milk and nutritious meals to kids in the Valley who need it. “I try to put myself in the shoes of the kids who are food insecure, and I just can’t imagine that,” Gallen told Venom Strikes. Partnering with St. Mary’s Food Bank and Shamrock Farms, “The Milkman” is leading the summer program to combat childhood hunger in the local community. The project has already pledged 2,300 gallons of milk, donated by Shamrock Farms.

The Diamondbacks’ effort to feed the hungry goes back long before Gallen, who credits D-Backs President Derek Hall with guiding players to help take on this challenge. “I know that over the years, he’s tried to pass on the torch to different players. I think Nick Ahmed was involved before me,” Gallen said. Now it’s Gallen’s turn to carry the torch and shine light on this dark issue.

Zac Gallen leads charitable work with Diamondbacks' partners at Mary’s Food Bank and Shamrock Farms

Midway through his sixth big-league season, this is the first charity Gallen has founded, but he’s kept busy helping out back when being a big leaguer was just a dream. Gallen’s interest in philanthropy goes back to the lessons his parents taught him, who, Gallen says, “didn’t have much, but had enough to put food on the table.” Gallen started volunteering as a kid, and the meaning of doing so has only grown as he has.

“Doing a little bit of community service was a requirement at my high school, but by the end of it, you almost feel like it wasn’t a requirement at all - you’re looking forward to those community service hours,” Gallen said. For The Milkman, giving back to the community changed from a “have-to” to a “want-to”. 

He knows he cannot tackle this problem on his own, so he is counting on community support for this effort. He’s encouraging the local community to volunteer at St. Mary’s Food Bank. Also, donations are welcome through https://www.mlb.com/dbacks/community; look for Gallen's foundation under Player Programs.

“I’ll be very humbled by anyone who gets involved," Gallen noted. "It’s a rewarding thing to be a part of.”