This past month, SV Temple of Michigan raised $15,000 – or 90,000 meals – for Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeast Michigan. This generous contribution was the result of a recent food drive, led by the temple’s Community Outreach Committee and youth members. Over the course of three weekends, middle school and high school students at the temple set up a booth to collect donations during an important religious period.
“Our motto is service to mankind is service to God. That’s what we believe in,” said Subra Sripada, Chair, Community Outreach Committee at SV Temple of Michigan.
SV Temple of Michigan’s Community Outreach Committee was founded five years ago by the Trustees of the SV Temple with the goal to support the larger community that surrounds Novi, where the temple is located, and beyond.
“We are doing what we can to support those in need around us,” the Temple Chairman said. “We’re part of the community and we want to be helpful along with the other churches and other folks that are doing similar things to give back to their communities.”
When searching for a partner to address food insecurity, the temple was looking for an organization that was consistent with their goals and had a matching program to extend their dollars further. SV Temple of Michigan purposely timed their fundraiser to coincide with Gleaners’ Powered by Food campaign, during which there was a match incentive by PNC, Delta Air Lines, and other generous donors.
The funds collected by the temple will directly support Gleaners’ food programs, including dozens of mobile food distributions in five counties, and distribution efforts to Gleaners’ network of more than 600 partner agencies, including shelters, pantries, and soup kitchens. In its 2021 fiscal year, Gleaners distributed a record-breaking 71.4 million pounds of food to hungry neighbors in the community – and in recent months, Gleaners has seen increased demand for food and related resources, as inflation continues to drive up the cost of groceries, fuel, and other basic needs. With these new challenges, many families are finding it more difficult to put food on the table and make ends meet.
Sripada said the temple has a tremendous team of dedicated committee members and student volunteers that make all this possible. “We are truly blessed,” Sripada said.
The committee has focused its fundraising efforts to support four major causes. In addition to feeding the hungry through Gleaners, they also do a backpack school program with Novi and Northville schools to support 200 kids whose families have to make decisions between food or medicine or school supplies. The other causes are dedicated to supporting a blind school and community center in Taylor, as well as providing menstrual hygiene products to Detroit Public Schools.