MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. - Miami Dolphins Owner Stephen Ross and the Miami Dolphins Foundation announced a multi-million-dollar major-gift commitment through the Miami Dolphins Foundation at providing jobs and nutrition on a sustained and long-term basis through the Miami Dolphins Food Relief Program. The initiative, starting on June 1, will provide a minimum of 1,000 meals prepared by Centerplate, the team's food, beverage and retail partner, each weekday out of Hard Rock Stadium up to a 12-month period to families in need in Miami Gardens through a voucher system. On Sundays, the Dolphins will work with area churches, local leadership, and community groups to purchase food from local restaurants to provide a minimum of 1,000 meals each Sunday that will be distributed to those dealing with food insecurity. The program will generate jobs and revenue for the local restaurant industry, while employing guest services and security staff at the stadium that have been idled as a result of COVID-19-related event cancellations.
Stephen Ross and the organization will invest $2 million in the Miami Dolphins Foundation Food Relief Program and will work to raise an additional $1 million by matching all dollars raised by the South Florida community and Miami Dolphins fans worldwide for a potential $4 million total impact. Individuals and businesses that wish to participate in the match program can donate online at dolphins.com/meals. All gifts are tax-deductible with 100% of the funds raised directly benefiting food relief. All donors over $50 will receive a special Miami Dolphins FOOTBALL UNITES™ gift from Ross and Vice Chairman and CEO Tom Garfinkel in appreciation of their participation in this matching campaign.
"We are committed to combating food insecurity and helping to provide consistent employment as the first step in rebuilding our community, starting in Miami Gardens," said Ross. "We are thankful for the strength that our community has shown through this pandemic and it's our hope that this program will inspire others to give."
"Unemployment is growing and a lot of people are suffering and need help," said Garfinkel. "It was important for us to start at home and help the most vulnerable in our community with a long-term commitment; not just a one-time event."
"I commend the Miami Dolphins Foundation, owner Stephen Ross and CEO Tom Garfinkel for their commitment to the residents of our community," said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez. "They have set a high standard for others to follow as we all work together to provide food and jobs for those hit hardest by this pandemic."
"Given the uncertainty of this crisis, all hands should be on deck, and all available resources tapped," said Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver Gilbert. "The Miami Dolphins organization is stepping up and providing needed support for our Residents as we continue to fight against COVID-19."
"The Miami Dolphins and Stephen Ross have been long time partners with this community," said State Senator Oscar Braynon II. "As we continue to navigate the uncharted waters of COVID-19, their commitment to long term relief for those in need is what I have come to expect from this organization."
The Miami Dolphins Foundation Food Relief Program expands the Miami Dolphins efforts to combat food insecurity in South Florida. In March, the organization gave $500,000 to help meet critical needs for elderly and youth in the community. These funds were used to support school meal programs for Broward County Public Schools and Miami-Dade County Public Schools, relief efforts led by churches in Miami Gardens and to bolster programs from Feeding South Florida to provide access to food for underserved populations in the area.
Earlier this month, Ross provided a grant for Miami Dolphins alumni John Offerdahl (Offerdahl's Off-The-Grill), Kim Bokamper (Bokamper's Sports Bar & Grill), Bob Brudzinski (Bru's Room Sports Grill) and the late, legendary Coach Don Shula to provide free meals to first responders, Dolphins FOOTBALL UNITES™ community partners and vulnerable populations who have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Over a three-week period, the restaurants delivered 35,440 meals and Pepsi provided 65,644 bottles of Bolt24.
In addition, Dolphins and Truist as part of its Truist Cares initiative partnered to support local small business and provide meals to the South Florida community as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic. More than 2,700 pre-packaged meals were prepared by local food trucks and delivered to Miami Dolphins FOOTBALL UNITES™ community partners over a six-week period.