This is the first in a 30-day series of ways Patch community members can give back. We hope you'll take part in this 30 Days of Giving, and take the spirit beyond the holidays, because there is "need" all year long.
Contribute food for a cause
Many families are in need throughout the year, but the need spikes over the holidays as children – often fed at school through federal programs – spend more time at home, said Anne Schenk, senior director of development for Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan.
“The families are really strained this time of year,” Schenk said. “We appreciate all of the donations we receive that enables us to help those families out.”
There are a variety of ways to donate to Gleaners: by donating money, time or food or by hosting a food drive. Food can be donated at food drives throughout your area, or at one of the five Gleaners warehouses including the Gleaners Oakland Distribution Center at 120 E. Columbia Ave. in Pontiac.
Schenk said some great food items to donate include:
- Canned meats
- Canned beans
Monetary donations are accepted online as well at www.gcfb.org. Schenk said these donations allow Gleaners to purchase items such as fresh produce, protein and frozen meats.
For those who would rather volunteer, or do both, Schenk said there is still plenty of room for volunteers. She advises that everyone intending to volunteer call ahead to ensure the date is free. Around the holidays volunteer participation rises, but there still is a need for helping hands not only at food drives and helping sort food, but also aiding in the office with tasks such as thank-you notes.
Hours for volunteering are 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. For more information on how to volunteer or donate at Gleaners, go to www.gcfb.org. Sarah Blight is the volunteer coordinator for Oakland County’s Gleaners in Pontiac and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone at (866) 453-2637.
Do you have a a suggestion for 30 Days of Giving? Add it in comments here, or send to Laura.Houser@Patch.com.