It’s hard to believe that our third annual team volunteer day has already come and gone. The second Monday in October is a special day for us. Though we’re closed for the federal holiday, we take the entire day to work together as a team to give back to Michigan nonprofits. Due to the pandemic, our volunteer day looked a little different this year. But we recognized that our help in the community was needed now more than ever.
Together, Team Lake Trust made up a volunteer force of 350 participants, who donated nearly 1,000 combined hours back to Michigan communities. In just one day, we made face masks, prepared community gardens for winter, created meal and snack kits for students, and gave back to local shelters.
Access to Food Resources
The theme of our volunteer day was focused on providing access to food and enhancing wellbeing. The COVID-19 pandemic has created many challenges for families, small businesses, and communities this year. The prevalence of food insecurity in our state is just one issue that has been highlighted recently, as over 613,000 Michigan adults reported not having enough to eat in September 2020.2 Without access to free and reduced lunch programs at school, coupled with the increasing costs of groceries, the need for additional food resources will continue to rise.
“2020 has been a tough year for many due to COVID-19. Lake Trust team members wanted to provide immediate help to begin bridging the gap back to recovery by providing food and PPE to Michigan families and our nonprofit partners,” explains Amanda H., Community Engagement Manager at Lake Trust.
Small But Mighty Teams
In partnership with the Michigan nonprofits Weekend Survival Kits, Blessings in a Backpack, Operation Full Bellies, and Kids’ Food Basket, our team assembled over 3,000 food kits. These organizations focus on eliminating childhood hunger and providing healthy meals to those in need. Meal kits are distributed to students who qualify for free or reduced lunch to eat over the weekend. By providing healthy snacks and meals, students are more prepared to learn and focus when returning to school on Monday.
At Gleaner’s, six hard-working team members prepared 6,318 pounds of food. This food will provide 5,346 meals for families in and around Detroit. Another nine team members processed 11,000 pounds of meat and put together 7 pallets of food at the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan in Flint, proving that even a small group of determined, passionate individuals can make a big difference.