New volunteers in Fujitsu 10 group revel in chance to help during annual visit to Gleaners

“It was larger than I expected,” said Fujitsu 10 Sales Coordinator Mutsu Honda, reflecting on his first impressions of Gleaners Detroit warehouse and distribution center on Beaufait Street.

Honda, along with 10 other Fujitsu 10 colleagues, including fellow rookie Dawn Mabanag, lifted boxes, pulled crates and packed food during their volunteer shift. The visit in March by Fujitsu 10, a Tier 1 automotive supplier based in Novi, MI, marked the seventh consecutive year employees from the company volunteered to help pack food for those in need in southeast Michigan.

Mr. Honda, who is from Japan, said food banks like Gleaners are not as common in his native country as they are here.

“Japan has a similar one, but the scale is smaller and not yet organized,” he said, noting that the issue of hunger is often confronted by local governments in Japan, not by organizations like Gleaners.

While not having personally experienced the struggle of hunger, Honda knew there were still ways he could help. When he decided to be part of the group, Honda said he sensed that he’d have a direct experience helping people by doing the work at Gleaners.

“It was exciting and motivating to have a direct touch on food which will go to people in need,” Honda recalled.

Unlike Honda, Mabanag, a quality control engineer at Fujitsu 10, knew some of his relatives had experienced hunger first-hand. A native of the Philippines, Mabanag said mostly religious organizations combat hunger at home.

“I believe Philippine society is as generous in helping those who are hungry,” he said.

As for his first volunteer trip to Gleaners, Mabanag was moved by knowing the work he did helped feed people in need in southeast Michigan. “It always feels good to help,” he said succinctly.

If you would like to help make a difference by volunteering at Gleaners, we’d love to have you. Click here to volunteer.