Beast of Burden: Running to solve hunger

Volunteers are an essential part of how Gleaners can distribute emergency food to five counties in southeast Michigan every year. Annually, more than 43,000 volunteer shifts are completed to help further our cause and we’re always inspired by the ways in which people choose to help solve hunger.

Jess Kurti, a Florida resident and regular volunteer at Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, sought to create her own challenge to help solve the problem. Her solution? Volunteer at every food bank in the Feeding America network – that’s 200 food banks! – to bring awareness to the issue of hunger. She’s also running marathons in each state with the hope to engage the running community because, as she puts it, “No one knows the importance of nutrition for health, development, and performance more than a runner! (And a hunger fighter, of course.)”

Gleaners was lucky enough to host Jess in April this year at both our Detroit and Livingston facilities, where she helped serve clients at the Gleaners Shared Harvest Pantry. She worked with a group of volunteers from JC Penney to prepare collection bags for the Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive, a national food drive that collects more than 70 million pounds of food per year. Jess and the team put together more than 3,000 bags! We’re grateful for and inspired by her dedication and motivation to make a difference in communities all across the nation. 

You can learn more about Jess’ story here and you can follow her progress by visiting her Facebook page.