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Rays concessionaire Centerplate drops Tampa homeless charity

New Beginnings had sent destitute men to serve food and beer at Rays games for years in exchange for donations to the charity. [SKIP O'ROURKE | Times]
New Beginnings had sent destitute men to serve food and beer at Rays games for years in exchange for donations to the charity. [SKIP O'ROURKE | Times]
Published Dec. 9, 2014

TAMPA — Tampa Bay Rays concessionaire Centerplate has ended its relationship with New Beginnings of Tampa, a charity that sent its homeless residents to work unpaid at games, the company announced Wednesday.

New Beginnings had sent destitute men to serve food and beer at Rays games for years in exchange for donations to the charity. The men worked for their shelter and food, an arrangement homeless advocates and labor lawyers call exploitative and possibly illegal.

Centerplate said its contracts with charities who volunteer at games prohibit sending volunteers dependent on the charities for food, shelter, or any other necessities of life.