Within the walls of Gleaners, we continually witness the compassion and generosity that people share for our mission. Eager volunteers, generous donors, and hardworking partner agencies (pantries, soup kitchens, schools, shelters, and other sites that distribute the emergency food) come together every day to help provide food for neighbors who may otherwise go without.
Knowing the kindness and helpfulness of fellow community members is uplifting and empowering. We wish everyone had the chance to experience it.
Events like Kroger’s “Bringing Hope to the Table” food drive help do just that. Kroger stores across metro Detroit invited Gleaners to collect food and funds each Saturday in January. Hundreds of volunteers, including those from several of Gleaners’ partner agencies, engaged shoppers at 89 Kroger stores. Their passion was contagious: a total of 100,837 pounds of food and over $20,000 was collected – enough to provide over 144,000 meals!
Jaden House, a five-year old from Lake Orion, was an inspiration to donors, fellow volunteers, and Gleaners’ staff. Jaden saw a Gleaners’ promotion on TV and asked his mom, Becky, how he could help. Becky signed them up to collect food at their local Kroger store.
“Jaden had a blast! He got so excited every time we filled a cart,” said Becky. “Whenever someone brought out a lot of food at once he would say, ‘That will fill a lot of bellies!’ …I had several people say how they were happily surprised to see someone as young as him out doing this.”
Jaden hung a photo of himself with the other volunteers on his bedroom wall and plans to volunteer with Gleaners again soon!
Another mother-son duo helped out across town in Commerce. Cindy Simmons and her 13-year old son Ryan volunteered as part of a religious celebration. “He picked Gleaners because he felt hunger is such an important issue,” said Cindy. “Ryan and I both learned that people can be very giving. Donors especially enjoyed donating to Ryan, with him being a kid.”
In Pontiac, members of the Eastside Church of Christ came together to collect over 10 carts of food for their church pantry. The collection gave them the opportunity to tell neighbors of the service they offer, feeding over 200 families every third Saturday.
And in Roseville, Kroger employees came together to donate six carts of food for hungry neighbors.
It’s a blessing to know that your community is filled with compassionate people. Even without hearing the sentiments of volunteers, donors, or partner agencies - just seeing a line of carts packed with food for hungry families lets you know that people care. It’s comforting – and it’s motivating.
Gleaners thanks Kroger, our volunteers, agencies, and donors for supporting the mission of feeding hungry people and inspiring others to do the same!
View photos from the Kroger food drive on Gleaners’ facebook page!