Hunger doesn’t take a summer vacation so for many kids in Detroit when school is out their breakfasts and lunches are gone.
Almost half of Detroit’s children have a guaranteed meal at school. In Southeast Michigan more than 300,000 free or reduced fee, breakfasts and lunches are served daily during the school year.
To help solve the problem, Children’s Hospital of Michigan Professional Nurse Council at the Detroit Medical Center (DMC) is leading a community effort to provide area children with a consistent daily meal over summer recess. Today (May 29) through June 5 it is holding its 6th Annual Cereal Drive. The cereal collected will be donated to Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan and distributed to more than 600 food pantries throughout Southeastern Michigan.
“As one of the best children’s hospitals in the country, we do not just treat sick or injured children, we are also in the business of keeping them healthy,” said Larry Gold, CEO of the Children’s Hospital of Michigan.
“Our nurses and staff really embrace this drive and the important connection it makes between nutrition and healthy kids.”
You can help, too, if you’re headed to the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix. It’s partnering with the Children’s Hospital of Michigan and will be collecting cereal all weekend long at the Cobo Hall and GM Ren Cen shuttle stops. Bring a box to donate.
Studies show that one in every four Michigan children lives in a household where breakfast is not guaranteed. For Detroit area children, that number is one in two, making the hunger gap even more serious for Southeast Michigan.
The Cereal Drive began in June, 2010. That year the hospital collected 160,757 servings of cereal. Last year, as community awareness increased, 622,839 servings of cereal were collected, which successfully stocked the shelves of the more than 600 food pantries within Southeastern Michigan. That fed children throughout the entire summer.
“The Metro-Detroit communities really come together and use this opportunity to directly make a contribution and a difference in their neighborhoods. This effort really transcends city boundaries and is one problem with serious health consequences that we can help make a huge dent in as a community,” said Pam Taurence, R.N. and Children’s Hospital of Michigan Professional Nurse Council member.
“Breakfast is such an important meal for growing children,” said Gerry Brisson, president of Gleaners. “Yet, it’s often skipped by families who struggle to make ends meet. The cereal provided through this remarkable drive will help thousands of kids start their days with the nourishment they need to be happy, not hungry, this summer.”