‘Mow down hunger’ for local students and families: Here’s how you can help

Originally posted on Click On Detroit

Over the past month or so, children across Southeast Michigan transitioned from summer vacation to virtual and in-person learning at school.

With so many disruptions to education over the past year and a half, students have been presented with tough challenges to learning, but the struggle is even more profound for children who do not have enough to eat. Every school has students who go to school with empty stomachs – and according to projections from Feeding America, nearly one in five children in the region may be at risk of food insecurity.

To ensure children and teens have access to the nutritious food they need to grow healthy bodies and minds, Gleaners Community Food Bank is joined by its partners and community to “Mow Down Hunger” for local children and other vulnerable neighbors.

From Sept. 13, 2021 through Oct. 12, 2021, every dollar donated to Gleaners’ Mow Down Hunger campaign will be generously matched dollar-for-dollar by Weingartz, a Michigan-based and family-owned provider of outdoor power equipment, up to 1 million meals.

“We know kids and families have a lot to worry about this school year with so much continued uncertainty, but with help from our community, hunger won’t be among them,” said Gerry Brisson, president and CEO at Gleaners. “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 and their families get the nutritious meals they need at this incredibly important time.”

Donations to the Mow Down Hunger campaign will go twice as far to support Gleaners’ impactful food programs across Southeast Michigan. Gleaners has developed efficient, reliable methods for handling a tremendous volume of donated food, as well as purchased produce, to ensure hungry neighbors have access to a variety of healthy, nutritious food.

Gleaners’ School Food Mobile Program serves school and Head Start families at more than 60 distribution locations. Each School Food Mobile site supplies 75 to 100 families with approximately 30 pounds of food, including milk, fresh produce, whole grains and lean protein. Additionally, Gleaners continues to host emergency mobile food distributions across Wayne, Oakland, Livingston, Macomb and Monroe counties. Anyone in need of food assistance can drive or walk up to an emergency distribution site and receive a combination of shelf-stable, refrigerated and frozen food items.

“If kids are hungry, they have trouble concentrating in school,” said Barb, who recently attended one of Gleaners’ emergency mobile food distribution sites in Oakland County. “And of course, good nutrition helps while their brains are developing. They really need the nutrition.”

When kids have enough to eat, they earn better grades, are absent from school less and have improved memory. Donations from community members provide hungry kids with access to the healthy food they need and will have double the impact when made to Gleaners’ Mow Down Hunger campaign. Visit www.mowdownhunger.org.