How to Help the Hungry, Get Help in Dearborn This Holiday Season

One in four Michigan children lives in poverty. In this season of being thankful and giving back, here are ways to help make others' holidays warmer.

The holiday season is a time of joy, and if one's lucky, of plenty.

Sadly, hunger continues to be a problem, with one in four Michigan children living in poverty and nearly half qualifying for free or low-cost school lunches

To help, Patch.com has launched an online food drive, with all of its 30 Michigan sites participating. Patch is partnering with Gleaners Community Food Bank in this virtual food drive, and the goal is to raise $10,000 by Nov. 17 to help feed local families.

Shop Gleaners' virtual grocery shelves. Click to get started!

Follow progress of Patch's fight against hunger. Click to watch donations grow!

Why give?

  • Forty percent of the people Gleaners helps are under the age of 18, and it provides 45 million pounds of food every year to Michigan's hungry through a partnership of hundreds of food pantries, schools, soup kitchens, shelters and nonprofit agencies. While 45 million pounds is a massive number, it's still not enough.
  • Oakland County saw double-digit increases in children qualifying for free and discounted school lunch programs, according to Gleaners
  • More than 317,000 are in need of a warm, nutritious meal in school.

How You Can Help

That being said, you can help—or get help—in any number of ways in the Dearborn area.

  • LaFontaine is hosting a Family Deal Food Drive through November. Bring canned goods to the LaFontaine Import Center at 2027 S. Telegraph Road and they'll be donated to Gleaners for distribution.
  • Dearborn hosts three Meals on Wheels and Senior Meal programs, and they're always looking for more volunteers. Call the Dearborn Senior Center at 313-943-2009 or Sisson Manor at 313-277-3817 to get involved.
  • Help's on the Way food pantry is located at 5358 S. Beech Daly in Dearborn Heights. Volunteers are always needed—call 313-908-7104 for more information.
  • To find the nearest emergency food provider, visit www.pantrynet.org or call United Way’s 2-1-1 line, which Natalie Fotias, marketing manager for Gleaners, says can connect people with other basic needs, too. Local Food pantries include God's Helping Hands in Rochester and the Salvation Army in Pontiac.
  • Volunteers are also welcome at Gleaners. People can pack food boxes, teach cooking classes, tend gardens and more.
  • Help out at Meals On Wheels. Find a location here: Local programs include Pontiac Meals On Wheels (248-738-9393) and We Care Senior Meals Program (248-738-9088).
  • You can host a Gleaners food drives, too. Learn more at www.gcfb.org.  Their Give a Hand for the Holidays program invites people to hold a food drive or raise funds for Gleaners by Dec. 31.
  • Dec. 17 is Double Your Donation Day, where any donations made that day will be matched. Visit www.gcfb.org/donate to learn more.
  • Kroger is starting 2013 with a plan to help Gleaners. Every Saturday in January, Kroger stores across metro Detroit will collect food and money to help familes in need. The Gleaners website will post participating locations beginning in December.

And, of course, one can always donate. Gleaners can turn $1 into three meals.

Lee Jacobsen November 10, 2012 at 04:42 PM
Food drives are a 'correct' way to redistribute the wealth in Dearborn, and in the rest of the country for that matter. It allows 'freedom of choice'. Speaking of help, has anyone heard of other countries of the world helping out America's Hungry?. Any foreign governments offering to help with the massive Sandy storm on the East coast? Somehow, it always seems that the USA is helping everyone else , with our tax dollars, (again, with the 47% that do pay taxes) and the aid , or help, is never reciprocated. http://www.tnonline.com/2012/nov/06/sandys-wrath Of course, it didn't help that the unions, not the electrical companies, were turning away help from non-union workers , now that's cooperation. http://dailycaller.com/2012/11/02/new-jersey-town-to-ala-volunteer-utility-crew-dont-help-with-sandy-unless-youre-unionized/ One in four children living in poverty? The average poverty family has Xbox, two TVs, cell phone, car, washer and dryer, etc, and would be considered wealthy 100 years ago. http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2011/07/what-is-poverty Keep in mind that Kuame is pleading 'poverty'. Giving should be from the heart, find a group that you trust, such as the Salvation Army, who saved my Dad in the 30s, and support it. Again, Freedom of Choice.
POWDERBURNER November 12, 2012 at 08:31 PM
I thought when they re-elected obama this would no longer be a concern. After all, only Republicans starve people.
Poor Choices November 12, 2012 at 10:53 PM
I do not use the term "poor" , I use "poor choices". Like the saying goes "Buy what you want (Xbox, cell phone, expensive purses, expensive shoes, expensive hairstyles) and beg for what you need (heat, electricity, food, medical coverage). I truly think the majority of people in poverty are there due to poor choices they make in life. I do not want to pay for these poor choices. A cell phone is not an entitlement, it is a luxury that should be purchased through the fruits of your labor (working). If you can't buy it with money you have earned, you shouldn't have it. Simple as that.


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