Ford, The Suburban Collection, Food Agencies Join Forces To Deliver 575,000 Meals This Summer To Southeastern Michigan’s Hungry
* Leading the food distribution drive are Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services, The Suburban Collection, Gleaners Community Food Bank, Forgotten Harvest and United Way for Southeastern Michigan
* Effort includes reaching thousands of children this summer who face hunger because of lack of access to school-sponsored free lunch programs
* An estimated 600,000 people in southeastern Michigan are believed to be at risk of suffering from hunger
DEARBORN, Mich. – Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services announced today it is teaming up with local dealers and food agencies to deliver 575,000 meals this summer to the hungry in southeastern Michigan, where a tough economy is contributing to a rise in families struggling to meet basic food needs.
Teaming up with Ford to deliver meals to the hungry this summer are two Ford franchises of The Suburban Collection (Suburban Ford of Sterling Heights and Suburban Ford of Waterford), Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan, Forgotten Harvest and United Way for Southeastern Michigan.
Through the team effort, Ford will bolster Gleaners’ and Forgotten Harvest’s food distribution with additional vehicles from The Suburban Collection. Additionally, United Way’s “211” help line will direct people in need to meal distribution locations operated by Gleaners and Forgotten Harvest.
Also, Ford Fund and Ford Motor Company are donating $50,000 to Gleaners for food purchases and $100,000 to Forgotten Harvest for short-term leases of refrigerated trucks and fresh food acquisition.
“Because hunger is a community-wide issue, Ford is focused on forging relationships and collaborations with community partners that are going to result in people being fed,” said Jim Vella, president, Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services. “Helping families escape hunger is our goal, and to succeed, we are inviting more organizations and community leaders to get involved in this cause.”
U.S. Rep. Sander Levin of Michigan lent his support to the meal delivery effort at a kick-off event this morning at Suburban Ford of Sterling Heights.
“These are tough times for Michigan families,” said Rep. Levin. “The work of this coalition on a very basic issue – food and nutrition – will make a tremendous difference for hundreds of thousands of people this summer.”
An estimated 600,000 people in Wayne, Oakland or Macomb counties are believed to face the prospect of suffering from hunger – a population that may grow to as high as 1.1 million people by 2013, depending on employment trends. An estimated 800 million to 1.2 billion pounds of food will be needed to serve this population by 2013. Though at least half of that food supply is expected to come from government-subsidized sources, there is concern that a food supply shortfall for the hungry could emerge that could number in the hundreds of millions of pounds.
“We’re pleased to see community leaders and non-profits working together to come to the aid of families who face real hunger because of their economic hardships,” said DeWayne Wells, president, Gleaners Community Food Bank. “This is help that will make a difference this summer in people’s lives.”
Added Jason Vines, senior advancement director, Forgotten Harvest: “Hunger is a real by-product of the economic turmoil we’ve experienced in southeastern Michigan, and it’s affecting thousands of households in our region. This team effort brings resources together in a creative way to save needy families from the harmful affects of hunger.”
When the meal delivery drive begins later this month, about 575,000 meals will be delivered via distribution routes established by Gleaners and Forgotten Harvest. Many of the meals will be targeted at the thousands of children who could face hunger this summer, simply because they do not have access to school free-lunch programs.
“We’re proud that our presence in the community, our resources and our relationship with Ford Motor Company are being leveraged to help expand our community’s capacity to feed the hungry,” said David T. Fischer, chairman and CEO, The Suburban Collection. “We hope this initiative inspires others to join us in supporting the social service agencies in southeastern Michigan that are working so hard to save families from hunger.”
About Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services
Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services is a community relations and philanthropic non-profit funded by Ford Motor Company. Celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2009, Ford Fund supports initiatives and institutions that foster and promote innovation in education, greater automotive safety and American heritage and diversity. National programs include Ford Partnership for Advance Studies (Ford PAS), which provides 21st century skills-based curriculum to more 40,000 high school students; and Ford Driving Skills for Life, which has taught safe driving skills to more than 337,000 young drivers. In addition, the Ford Volunteer Corps, established in 2005, enlists the help of thousands of Ford employees and retirees who volunteer their time to continue Ford’s legacy of community service worldwide. For more information about programs made possible by Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services, please visit www.community.ford.com, www.volunteer.ford.com or www.abrighterfuture.ford.com.
About Gleaners Community Food Bank
Gleaners Community Food Bank, in collaboration with its member agencies and with broad community backing and support, provides surplus donated and low-cost food and personal care products to people in need in southeastern Michigan. In so doing, Gleaners is committed to adopting best practices and cost-effective systems and procedures to achieve the highest possible return on its human and financial resources. Gleaners fulfills its role with a sense of compassion and urgency, recognizing that in many instances, it is the only source of emergency food for persons in need.
About Forgotten Harvest
Forgotten Harvest was formed in 1990 to fight two problems: hunger and waste. Forgotten Harvest will rescue more than 12 million pounds of food this year by collecting surplus prepared and perishable food from a variety of sources, including grocery stores, fruit and vegetable markets, restaurants, caterers, dairies, farmers, wholesale food distributors, and other Health Department-approved sources. This donated food, which would otherwise go to waste, is delivered absolutely free of charge to 150-plus emergency food providers in the metro Detroit area. The individuals and families served are as diverse as the community’s residents – young and old, from all races and faiths. The common bond uniting them with each other and with Forgotten Harvest is hunger. Visit www.forgottenharvest.org.
About United Way for Southeastern Michigan
United Way for Southeastern Michigan mobilizes the caring power of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties to improve lives in measurable and lasting ways throughout the region. The organization is led by a diverse group of volunteers from business, labor, government, human services, education and the community. United Way provides opportunities to invest in the metropolitan Detroit community through its annual campaign and is a leader in convening partners to impact local residents each year by increasing economic self-sufficiency, protecting children and youth at risk, strengthening families, empowering neighborhoods and communities, and promoting health and wellness. Additional information is available at www.LiveUnitedSEM.org.
About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 205,000 employees and about 90 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford, Lincoln, Mercury and Volvo. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford’s products, please visit www.ford.com.
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