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The Pittsburgh Penguins have found a silver lining amid the COVID-19 outbreak that prompted the NHL to postpone 50 games before the league’s holiday break.

Tuesday’s Pens game against the New Jersey Devils and Thursday’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers were among the 32 games put on hold this week alone following a surge of COVID cases that saw nine teams shut down. 

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With no guests to fill the stands, the Penguins took the opportunity to donate food at PPG Paints Arena to a local charity, 412 Food Rescue, that works to deliver food to individuals and families experiencing food insecurity, NHL.com reported. 

Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby (87) and Penguins center Evan Rodrigues (9) during the third period of a game between the New Jersey Devils and the Pittsburgh Penguins Dec. 19, 2021, at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. (Getty Images)

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"We generally donate to them at least once a week, and it's mostly food that goes unused after games," Nick Fenton, general manager at Aramark, the Penguins' food and beverage partner, said. "Obviously, this was a little different. Even though we had been given some notice that the games are getting postponed, we do still have a lot of food that we will not be able to save or use for an upcoming event. So this is definitely a larger food donation than it normally is to 412 Food Rescue."

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Jeff Carter (77) of the Pittsburgh Penguins celebrates with teammates after his overtime goal against the Buffalo Sabres at PPG Paints Arena Dec. 17, 2021 in Pittsburgh.  (Joe Sargent/NHLI via Getty Images / Getty Images)

Some of the donations include fresh fruit, vegetables, produce, meats and cheeses and will be delivered to the Shepherd's Heart Fellowship & Veteran's Home in Pittsburgh. 

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman announced Wednesday that the league would no longer allow players to participate in the 2022 Winter Olympics because of the surge in COVID cases and the need to reschedule 50 games. 

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