Heading into this holiday season, 38 million people face hunger in the U.S. — including more than 12 million children. Wayne County alone estimates 15.5% of residents with food insecurities.
That’s why DFCU Financial stepped in to help provide much needed assistance to one of the largest food banks in Michigan - Gleaners Community Food Bank. As part of an initiative with Mastercard, DFCU recently donated $25,000 to the food bank. This amount will ensure 75,000 meals make it to family tables throughout Michigan.
Children continue to be a priority, according to Gleaners’ Director of Community Outreach Denise Leduc. “Last year we had 60 mobile pantries for those experiencing food insecurities,” said Leduc. “In 2021, we’ve been able to increase these pantries by more than 100 percent to 130 to ensure kids and schools get more access to much needed meals.” As a response to the COVID-19 crisis, Gleaners also created pandemic boxes to expedite families hit hard by the outbreak.
“We're so pleased to be able to embody the fundamental credit union philosophy of giving back to our communities,” said DFCU Chief Marketing Officer Andy Sheibar. “Our Swipe Out Hunger campaign allows us to help a great cause like Gleaners on behalf of our members. Through our partnership with Mastercard, we've been able to make this donation for the last two years, and hope to continue into the future.”
In addition to the donation, DFCU Financial employees also volunteered to pack thousands of pounds of food recently at the new Taylor distribution center.
“Volunteering at Gleaners was a wonderful experience,” said Accounting's Sue Morency. “To hear how many people they help is truly amazing and their new warehouse in Taylor was clean and organized. The pallets and racks upon racks of food really shows how many people are struggling to feed their families - it was a humbling experience. I am very proud to work at a company that gives back so generously to the community. Volunteering at Gleaners is a great way to help those in need and you leave with a sense of purpose and fulfillment.”
Said Garden City's Jessica Wilson, "It's important that every company has a social responsibility to their community and helps to build good will with their neighborhood. Consumers are more likely to purchase goods or services from companies that have given back to their communities. This was my first time doing a food drive, and what better way to experience my first one then with my DFCU family. I had a lot of fun; It was a good experience that I would do again. I can't wait to see all the pictures!"
Gleaners was among the first food banks in the United States and provides households with access to essential food items and related resources that ensures 45 million pounds of food every single year to families at risk. Research shows that healthy food can treat and even reverse wide-spread health issues, including hypertension, cholesterol and diabetes. Coincidentally, these are some of the health issues that make COVID-19 more deadly.