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Mariners pitcher Marco Gonzales and wife Monica launch peanut butter drive for Washington kids

The Mariners pitcher and his wife are trying to combat childhood hunger during the coronavirus pandemic.

SEATTLE, Wash. — Mariners pitcher Marco Gonzales and his wife Monica are teaming up to fight childhood hunger. The couple is pitching in for a peanut butter food drive, in conjunction with Northwest Harvest. 

When the Gonzales' returned to Seattle from spring training in Arizona, the Major League Baseball season came to a full stop. With their professional lives on pause, the couple put their free time towards a good cause. 

They found the statistics around childhood hunger were startling.

"We were just hearing some numbers that started to freak us out around the state," said Marco. "And, you know, we wanted to put some action behind our words. We didn't want to just film a video or send a social media shout out."

Marco said they wanted to do something that was intentional, and a virtual food drive was a perfect fit, especially since Monica already helps regularly with Northwest Harvest.

"We both went to Gonzaga, Monica's family lives here, this is home to us and a big chance to give back," Marco said. 

The couple decided on peanut butter because it has so many benefits. Monica, who is a personal trainer, says peanut butter is high in protein, low in sugar, a good energy source, and shelf-stable. "It's one of the few shelf-stable items that's available around the state right now," she says. "So that was huge, too."

Not only that, but peanut butter spreads far. You can make about ten sandwiches for just $1. 

The couple's goal is to raise $40,000 by the end of May, and they have a matching grant to encourage donors for the last push. Also, donors may be able to win a chance to volunteer with the pair at Northwest Harvest's Community Market in SODO or could win a chance to go to a future Mariners game and batting practice. To donate, click here.