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Children’s Hospital and Gleaners team up on cereal drive for kids because hunger doesn’t take a summer vacation

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It’s summer and the kids are out of school. For many of us the challenge is to find things for them to do to keep them healthy and busy during those months.

But for many others, the challenge is how to feed their children breakfast. That’s true for more than half of Detroit’s children and many others in Southeast Michigan, who get free breakfasts and lunches at school. In fact, more than 300,000 free or reduced fee breakfasts and lunches are served daily during the school year in our region. During summer vacation those meals are no longer available and too many kids go hungry.

Studies show that one in every five Michigan children lives in a household where breakfast is not guaranteed. More than 715,000 people in Southeast Michigan will face hunger this coming year, 191,920 of them are children.

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The Children’s Hospital of Michigan Professional Nurse Council at the Detroit Medical Center (DMC) has a solution with its 7th Annual Cereal Drive. It kicked off Friday, June 3 and runs through June 10.

You can donate. Please visit Children’s Hospital of Michigan for a complete list of drop-off locations. To provide a monetary donation for perishable breakfast items, please visit Gleaners Virtual Cereal Drive.

The cereal collected will be donated to Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan and distributed to more than 530 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,” says Luanne Thomas-Ewald, interim 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,” she says.

Drs. Daniel Turner and Ralph Delius

Drs. Daniel Turner and Ralph Delius

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It gets the kids … not to mention adults … fueled up and ready to take on the day. Without breakfast, people can get irritable, restless, and tired … certainly not how we want children to spend their summers.

“Breakfast is such an important meal for growing children,” says 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.”

The Cereal Drive began in June, 2010. That year the hospital collected 160,757 servings of cereal. Last year, the group collected more than 895,000 servings of cereal and were able to stock the shelves of 535 food pantries within Southeastern Michigan.

“It was the first time we able to feed children throughout the entire summer,” Thomas-Ewald says.

Let’s make sure those kids are fed this summer, too. Please visit Children’s Hospital of Michigan for a complete list of drop-off locations. To provide a monetary donation for perishable breakfast items, please visit Gleaners Virtual Cereal Drive.

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