Writers Name: Rosey Denise White
Title: Food is Not a Luxury
Holiday season is usually the time of year when the needs of the hungry are often highlighted but truthfully, hunger is a regular issue both here at home and abroad. According to feedingamercia.org, approximately 6.1 million households in the U.S. received emergency food assistance in 2011. Children were hunger victims in 78% of these households. With so much focus on the economic and political health of the country, sometimes the plight of the hungry does not get the attention it deserves. Many go without food to eat on a daily basis; every six seconds a child dies from hunger related issues.
In Michigan, there are several businesses and non-profit organizations dedicated to helping cure the hunger epidemic. The Michigan division of the Kids against Hunger Coalition is a mobile packaging operation that ships meals to malnourished children here at home and internationally. This mobile unit works with other volunteers, non-profit organizations, and local companies to help package and distribute food accordingly.
To inquire about volunteer opportunities or to schedule a mobile food packaging event please see the below:
Kids Against Hunger – Michigan Coalition
8600 Northend Rd.
Oak Park, MI 48238
Meijer’s is a major local grocery chain in Michigan, but the executives of this group also use the business to promote hunger awareness by helping the community. Meijer’s Simply Give Program recently gave 4 million dollars to various food pantries across Michigan. Meijer also has a Food Rescue program that distributes food straight from Meijer shelves to local food banks. Top Meijer executive Janet Emerson is the force that drives the wheel for these programs. She believes that “food is just a basic need… a basic right not to go to bed hungry.”
Food Gatherers is a food rescue plan established in 1988 in Michigan. Close to 1500 volunteers prepare and serve 100,000 meals to people in need each year. They also provide student and job training within culinary arts. December 5th – December 9th, Food Gatherers will host their annual “freezing for a reason” food and fund drive. You can participate by donating cash or food donations to any Kroger located in Washtenaw County.
If you are in need of emergency food assistance or interested in their training programs please contact:
The Food Bank Council of Michigan reports that 196,400 people receive emergency food assistance per week in Michigan. If you have internet access, pantrynet.org provides a list of food banks throughout Michigan. Below is also a list of food pantries, and emergency food resources that provide assistance year round in the Michigan area:
Emergency Food Resources in Michigan
Storehouse of Hope
8850 Woodward Ave.
Tuesday – Friday 10:00am – 4:00pm
Lord of Harvest
Monday – Friday 10:00am – 11:30am
Walk in the Spirit Food Pantry
11638 Whittier St.
Tuesday – Friday 10:00am – 1:00pm
Redford Interfaith Relief
18499 Beech Daly
Tuesday & Friday 10:00am – 2:00pm
Emergency Food Assistance
State of Michigan Food Assistance Program
Gleaners Food Bank