For many kids, summer vacation is something to get excited about. But for more than 150,000 food-insecure children in our community, instead of a time of excitement it’s a time when they face hunger, robbing them of the joy and happiness of summertime and putting them at a disadvantage when school starts again in the fall.
Gleaners Community Food Bank created the Hunger Free Summer campaign in 2011 to ensure that no child goes hungry during the summer. In southeast Michigan alone, nearly 300,000 children receive free or reduced-fee meals. When the school year ends, so do the meals and hunger sets in for these children who often miss out on the healthy, wholesome food they need to grow, thrive, and play.
Citizens Bank, along with other generous donors, including Ford Motor Company, match donations dollar-for-dollar during the course of the campaign. Every dollar donated usually provides three meals, but with the generous match during Hunger Free Summer, every dollar donated provides six meals for hungry kids.
Hunger Free Summer supports Gleaners Community Food Bank's programs that reach thousands of hungry children throughout southeast Michigan with nutritious food. We work with schools and community organizations to ensure a comprehensive and unified approach to tackling child hunger.
In 2017 Gleaners’ School Food Mobile program reached hungry children in high-need communities with more than 300 distributions. Each distribution provided approximately 100 households with 30 pounds of nutritious food, including frozen meat and fresh produce.
Through the Summer Food Service Program, over 5,800 children at 97 sites received nutritious lunches last year. Summer meals were provided five days a week to 4,200 children.
Additionally, through Gleaners’ extensive network of 499 partner soup kitchens, pantries, and shelters, the Hunger Free Summer campaign helps children and families bridge the gap during the summer.