Your mom always told you breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It builds up your energy, gets your brain in gear and gets you ready for a successful day.
That becomes a problem for almost half of Detroit’s children who rely on a guaranteed breakfast, and sometimes lunches, at school. That ends with the summer recess. It’s a big deal, in Southeast Michigan, more than 300,000 free or reduced fee breakfasts and lunches are served daily during the school year.
The Children’s Hospital of Michigan Professional Nurse Council at the Detroit Medical Center (DMC) has been helping bridge that gap since 2010. The 8th Annual Cereal Drive kicked off on Friday, June 2 and runs through June 9.
The cereal collected will be donated to Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan and distributed to more than 500 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, 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.
During the Cereal Drive at the New Emergency Department Opening Detroit Tigers wives helped count cereal servings and hosted arts and crafts with patients.
The first Cereal Drive in June, 2010 brought in 160,757 servings of cereal. Last year, as community awareness increased, the group collected more than one million servings of cereal that stocked the shelves of more than 500 food pantries within Southeastern Michigan.
“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.”
Stacy Javenkoski, the mother of a young child who had open heart surgery patient at Children’s Hospital a few years ago, collected and donated 213 boxes of cereal to say thank you for her son’s health. She put out a call on social media, enlisted the help of her family and friends — even the dental community.
” We hope you understand the miracles you perform and that families never forget what you do for them”,” she wrote in a letter to Children’s Hospital. “So we will do all we can to help give back.”
Some special events are being held to bring in more cereal.
Wednesday, June 7: Joey from Channel 955’s Mojo in the Morning Show will be hanging out with Children’s PNC collecting Cereal from 11:00 to 2:00 p.m. downtown in Cadillac Square (across from Campus Martius)
Thursday, June 8: Come hang out with Jay Towers and the Crew from FOX 2 and 100.3 WNIC at Kroger in Royal Oak (2200 East 12 Mile) from 6:00 a.m. to noon to help FILL THAT BUS. While you’re there find out how you could win a trip to Universal Studios – just by being a Cereal Champion.
Friday, June 9: Cereal Drive Wrap-up Celebration. Join Allison from 100.3 WNIC at 11:30 a.m. in the Children’s Hospital of Michigan cafeteria atrium in Detroit to celebrate the accomplishments during the 2017 Cereal Drive.
Bring a box of cereal.
Cereal can be dropped off at any of the events or at Children’s Hospital in Troy or Detroit. Large collection pickups can be scheduled with Gleaners.
– Photos by Tristan Shaver