Help students get the nutritious food they need to succeed in school

Originally posted on Click On Detroit

As the prices of fresh produce, meat and other groceries continue to rise, vulnerable neighbors across Southeast Michigan are faced with growing concerns about how they will bring home food to their families.

Far too many children, who went back to school just one month ago, are at risk of missing out on the nutritious meals they need to grow healthy minds and bodies. According to research from Kids Count Data Center, hunger affects more than 300,000 children in Southeast Michigan, who typically eat two of their three daily meals at school for free or at a reduced cost.

When students have enough healthy food to eat, they have an easier time concentrating in class and earn higher grades.

To support local children with their growth and learning through proper nutrition, Gleaners Community Food Bank has teamed up with Weingartz, a Michigan-based and family-owned provider of outdoor power equipment, to present the 12th annual Mow Down Hunger campaign.

Now through Oct. 12, all donations to Gleaners will be matched dollar-for-dollar – up to 1 million meals – by Weingartz.

“Kids need healthy food to do their best, both inside and outside of the classroom,” said Ron Weingartz, vice president of sales at Weingartz. “We’re proud to continue our long-standing partnership with Gleaners to provide students and their families with the nutritious, wholesome meals they deserve.”

Donations to the Mow Down Hunger campaign will support Gleaners’ critical food programs throughout Southeast Michigan, including the School Food Mobile Program and emergency mobile food distributions.

The School Food Mobile Program serves school and Head Start families at more than 60 distribution sites, providing 75 to 100 families per location with about 30 pounds of food, including milk, fresh produce, whole grains and lean protein. Additionally, Gleaners’ emergency mobile food distribution – with sites across Wayne, Oakland, Livingston, Macomb and Monroe counties – are open to anyone in need of food assistance.

With no registration needed ahead of time, food recipients are welcome to drive or walk up to an emergency distribution site to receive a combination of shelf-stable, refrigerated and frozen food items.

volunteers distributing food.

Throughout the year, Gleaners partners with more than 660 partner schools, soup kitchens, food pantries, shelters and other agencies in the region that provide children who are at risk of experiencing food insecurity with nutritious food. The Children’s Center, based in Detroit, partners with Gleaners to provide well-balanced meals to children participating in the center’s after-school and summer programming.

“When our kids have full bellies, they can focus. They can sleep. They’re able to accomplish so much more,” said Cindy Read, manager at The Children’s Center. “The meals Gleaners provides are great. They are cooked and nutritious, and the children love them. When we provide these meals for our children, it has such a positive effect in their lives.”

Gleaners and Weingartz are calling on community members to take hunger off the table for local children and their families. During the Mow Down Hunger campaign, every dollar donated will provide six meals to those most vulnerable, up to 1 million meals. To make a donation, visit