Kansas City Current teams up with AD Franch, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City and The Giving Grove to plant orchards and provide fresh fruits, berries and nuts during Hunger Action Month Kansas City Current

Kansas City Current teams up with AD Franch, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City and The Giving Grove to plant orchards and provide fresh fruits, berries and nuts during Hunger Action Month

The Giving Grove, a Kansas City-based nonprofit serving communities facing food insecurity, announces today a partnership with goalkeeper AD Franch and The Kansas City Current to expand community orcharding in urban neighborhoods that often have limited access to fresh food. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City, the official health insurance partner of the Current, is donating $100 each time AD records a save to The Giving Grove in support of Franch’s “Playing for Trees” campaign.  

The partnership will kick off during Hunger Action Month with a volunteer event at a Giving Grove community orchard. Volunteers from the Current, Blue KC and The Giving Grove will harvest fruit for community distribution, mulch trees and prepare the site for fall planting.  

“We have seen the power of community orchards in creating food sovereignty, promoting sustainability and bringing people together,” said Erica Kratofil, Chief Development Officer for The Giving Grove. “The support of AD, the Current and Blue KC will help us bring these benefits to even more communities.”  

Since its launch in 2013, The Giving Grove national network has planted 380 orchards across the U.S., including 230 in Kansas City that are maintained with the support of Kansas City Community Gardens. The orchards are on pace to provide 75 million servings of free, healthy food over their lifetime. More than 700 trained volunteers serve as orchard stewards, ensuring that the sites are cared for, and the food is distributed to those in need.   

The Current is on a 12-game unbeaten streak, second-longest streak in NWSL history. As one of the leaders of the Current, Franch has recorded three shutouts and 51 saves on the season while the Current have scored 24 goals through the first 17 games. Under this partnership, Franch will donate funds for fruit trees, berry bushes, and nut trees that will provide food for local communities.   

“I am thoroughly excited about the partnership with Giving Grove. Through the ‘Playing For Trees’ campaign, we’re addressing food inequities and ensuring local communities have access to fresh produce,” said Franch. “I'm excited to work on one of what we expect to be many volunteer events like this, allowing our club, players, and fans opportunity to interact, engage, and physically make a difference in our community.”  

KC Current Founding Partner Blue KC is proud to donate $100 per save in support of Franch’s campaign. Blue KC’s donations will continue through 2022, including the postseason. The donations are going directly to The Giving Grove, which is part of Blue KC’s Well Stocked initiative to increase food access and reduce food insecurity in Kansas City. Fans can join the campaign by visiting playfortrees.org/players/franch.   

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