Writer’s Name: Stephanie Hardy
Title: Thank You for Your Donation
With all the resources in the world it is hard to understand why people are hungry across the globe.
On one of the last episodes in her last season, Oprah highlighted the growing epidemic of hunger faced by Americans across the country. The show followed several suburban families displaying their grim reality of hunger. One lady, a mother and wife, cried after falling down outside of a food bank where she once donated money and food. The show told the dismal tail of what many of us face each day as we have to decide whether or not to pay bills or eat. Like the families on the episode, many Americans who were once middle class are now facing this new challenge and are not equipped with the tools to understand how or why this is happening, while many of us refuse to acknowledge and cannot empathize with the issue because it is not directly affecting us.
In Michigan, more specifically Detroit, and surrounding areas, individuals have a better idea of where to gain assistance when in need. As a result of unemployment and other unfortunate events, more people in the community have less to eat and are learning to improvise and live with less. Various organizations and institutions have stepped up to the plate and are helping those in need on monthly, bi-monthly and even weekly bases.
Many organizations seek to eradicate hunger by facilitating food drives.
The United States Post Office puts on the largest food drive that serves the continental United States, Virgin Islands, and Guam. The annual event that takes place each May, affords letter carriers the ability to collect non-perishables from those they regularly deliver mail to and deliver collected items.
Gleaners Food Bank, an outstanding organization that has served Southeastern Michigan for over three decades now, in the economic downturn, it has remained a pillar remaining true to its mission "nourishing communities by feeding hungry people.” Gleaners often have days where donations from the public are matched and/or doubled in order to keep up with the ever growing needs of the community. Gleaners home page purports, “Gleaners distributed 40 million pounds of emergency food to over 600 partner soup kitchens, shelters and pantries in Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Livingston and Monroe counties”
Forgotten Harvest whose mission is “to relieve hunger in the Detroit metropolitan community by rescuing surplus, prepared and perishable food and donating it to emergency food providers,” has also been and continues to be a major player on the side of eradicating hunger. Like Gleaners, Forgotten Harvest serves Macomb, Oakland and Wayne Counties and was established in 1990 with the twofold objective of eliminating hunger and waste. This is achieved by receiving food that is surplus before it spoils and then distributes the food to religious organizations, seniors’ facilities, children’s homes, etc. where the food is then given out among the aforementioned organization’s populations. To help Forgotten Harvest continue to reach its mission they always welcome monetary and food donations as well as volunteers.
Organizations such as Forgotten Harvest and Gleaners make it possible for churches and other service organizations to assist the community. With donations from the aforementioned, churches have been successful at developing programs that help feed people within the congregation as well as those within the community.
National Jr. Honor Society Leader, Ms. Edwards, with Henry Ford Academy: School for Creative Studies Detroit, is in the planning phase of organizing students to volunteer with Forgotten Harvest and Gleaners in the near future.
Knowing the challenges those around me face all too well makes it imperative I support businesses and organizations that give back to the community. Hiller’s Market is just one of several businesses that is very upfront about its stance against hunger as they often announce on radio broadcast its aim to stomp out hunger by applying a percentage of proceeds received from in store purchases to local food banks such as Forgotten Harvest and Gleaners.
Gleaners Upcoming Events for October
Mow Down Hunger in Our Own Backyard
Help us feed hungry kids and Weingartz will double your donation!
Now - Wednesday, October 17
David Houston Salon's 'Full for Fall' Fundraiser
Bring canned food items in exchange for a discount off hair styling products!
Monday, October 1 - Saturday, November 17
Doc's Prescription for Hunger Food Drive
Bring in 5 nonperishable food items and be entered into the daily drawing (1 free entrée and drink) and the Big Raffle, a $100 Gift Certificate to Doc’s Good Food!
Monday, October 1 - Monday, October 22
Haunt for Hunger 2012
Saturday, October 6 - Saturday, October 28
(Open weekends only and Halloween night)
Zombie Walk Detroit 2012
Saturday, October 13
Volunteer, Donate, or Both