MLS announces community initiatives around All-Star Game

Scott Takushi/Pioneer Press/TNS

Major League Soccer announced Thursday its community-related initiatives surrounding its All-Star Game in St. Paul in August.

MLS said it will host a “day of service” in conjunction with U.S. Hunger to package approximately 100,000 meals for local people in need. The league will build a mini soccer pitch at Mount Airy Boys & Girls Club in St. Paul and provide support to Twin Cities leaders committed to inclusion and equity.

“The community aspect that happens around these events … MLS and Target both are putting in a bunch of investment,” Minnesota United CEO Shari Ballard said in an interview with the Pioneer Press. “These resource into the community are around things that are big needs: mental health, food and more.”

MLS also will work to address the “wealth-equity gap” by highlighting and supporting metro leaders in its first “MLS All-Star Hometown Heroes Showcase.” Details are still be worked out, a league leader said.

The program will set up to provide a “selection of innovative, inclusive and impactful leaders making positive social change in one of four focus areas: education, mental health, food insecurity and social justice.”

The local leaders and their organizations, which might be at least one from each of the four categories, will receive support services to improve their impact on the community. MLS will host live panel discussion in August to showcase their mission and work.

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