Nats help out area food pantry

      The Washington Nationals are helping a local group send Thanksgiving meals to the area's needy.

      "They're so well organized here that we have to do is show up, they point us in the right direction, and away we go," said Israel Negron of the Washington Nationals' community relations team.

      The Food and Friends D.C. kitchen was bustling with activity, preparing dozens of turkeys in the kitchen.

      "Thanksgiving week is without a question the busiest week of the year at Food and Friends -- and we don't ever have slow weeks," said executive director Craig Shniderman.

      The group will deliver some 3,500 Thanksgiving dinners this year. The Washington Nationals send volunteers to help out Monday, including infielder Steve Lombardozzi.

      "It's going good. They got us all working... put us to work pretty hard here," Lombardozzi said.

      From roasted turkey to stuffing, green beans and corn, six tons of food will be delivered for Thanksgiving dinner alone.

      "The Nationals -- this is something they've been doing a while now and they invited me out here today and it was something that's easy to do to help a lot of people," Lombardozzi said.

      "It gives us a chance for people to know what's going on here and food and friends is a great organization. It also gives our players and the front office a chance to come out and help the community," Negron said.

      The holiday meals go to those in the region with life-challenging illnesses who otherwise may not have a way to get a hot meal. Food and friends delivers more than a million meals annually.

      "It is the 11,600 volunteers that will make this possible. Regardless of the weather Food and Friends always delivers," executive director Shniderman says.