CHARACTER COUNTS

D-backs SS Nick Ahmed championing fight against childhood hunger

Feb 12, 2021, 7:22 PM

Nick Ahmed #13 of the Arizona Diamondbacks fields a ground ball in the third inning of the MLB game...

Nick Ahmed #13 of the Arizona Diamondbacks fields a ground ball in the third inning of the MLB game against the Colorado Rockies at Chase Field on June 19, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)

(Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)

The number of children facing food insecurity or starvation has skyrocketed in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The drive to turn the tide on the topic has driven professional athletes like Arizona Diamondbacks shortstop Nick Ahmed to champion the cause.

Ahmed is one of several athletes to take part in children’s poverty nonprofit Compassion International’s Fill the Stadium initiative.

Compassion International has raised more than $11 million so far. The goal is to fill a 70,000-seat virtual stadium, the average amount at a pro football stadium. As of Thursday, the initiative has filled 22,587 seats.

Ahmed joined Arizona Sports’ Ain’t No Fang podcast on Thursday to discuss his involvement with the charity, among a wide variety of topics.

The eighth-year shortstop discussed the charity’s importance at the current moment, given the continued rise in COVID-19 cases worldwide and the impact that virus mitigation efforts have on those who can’t work from home to support their families.

“We all got hit with COVID-19 and had to shut down and quarantine, and some of us lost jobs and were hit really hard, but we all have our basic needs met here for the most part,” Ahmed said.

“All of us have homes with refrigerators in them. We have pantries, we have grocery store access, we have things that people in the poorest countries around the world don’t have access to.”

Ahmed added that the foundation’s donation drive serves a definite need around the world, as children bear the brunt of the impacts of the current pandemic.

“It’s a really difficult situation, and the kids have gone from being hungry to starving,” Ahmed said. “And unfortunately, there are a lot of kids around the world that are dying of starvation right now because of the effects of COVID-19.”

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D-backs SS Nick Ahmed championing fight against childhood hunger