More than 310,000 children in southeast Michigan rely on free or reduced-cost breakfasts and lunches at school to provide two of their three daily meals.
With many schools relying on virtual and/or hybrid instruction for now as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s even more important to get children the food they may be missing while not within school buildings.
Gleaners Community Food Bank and Weingartz have partnered for the 11th annual Mow Down Hunger campaign, which runs through Oct. 6.
Weingartz, a Michigan-based and family-owned retailer of outdoor power equipment, will match donations dollar-for-dollar up to one million meals. With the Weingartz match, each dollar donated to Gleaners provides six nutritious meals to hungry children in southeast Michigan.
“We know kids and families have a lot to worry about this school year with so many changes in how students will learn, but with help from our community, hunger won’t be among them,” said Gleaners president and CEO Gerry Brisson. “Every child deserves to know where their next meal is coming from every day. We are so grateful for the support of Weingartz and our community to make sure students get the nutritious meals they need at this incredibly important time.”
Funds raised through the Mow Down Hunger campaign will benefit Gleaners’ programs that fight child hunger. Gleaners is working with school districts to employ a variety of distribution models to meet their unique needs to provide the nutritious food kids and their families deserve.
Gleaners plans to continue its emergency food distribution efforts, including drive-through sites and food box distributions across the five counties it serves to remain a reliable food source for families continuing to struggle through the pandemic.
School Food Mobile pantries provide nutritious, healthy food to students and families at schools and Head Start programs through more than 80 distribution sites. During every visit, Gleaners supplies 75-100 families with enough fresh milk, fruit and vegetables, whole grains and lean protein to supplement each family for a month. The program also includes nutrition education, such as cooking demos, food tastings and recipes.
Throughout the school year, thousands of kids at partner schools receive Gleaners’ BackPacks filled with lowfat milk, fruit, vegetables, healthy proteins and grains to supplement well-rounded meals over the weekend.
According to a spokeswoman for Gleaners, Downriver emergency food distribution sites are located in Allen Park, Ecorse, Lincoln Park, River Rouge, Wyandotte, as well as participating schools in the School Food Mobile Pantry program.
Those interested in donating to the Mow Down Hunger campaign can:
●Go online to: MowDownHunger.org
●Call: 855-315-FOOD (3663)
●Mail a check or money order to: Gleaners Community Food Bank, P.O. Box 44050, Detroit, MI 48244-0050. Checks should be made payable to Gleaners Community Food Bank and include Mow Down Hunger on memo line to ensure the contribution is matched.
Monetary donations will also be accepted at Weingartz stores. Visit weingartz.com/locations to view hours and locations.