The Michigan Association of United Ways and Kellogg Company are hosting a “Summer Stock Up” food drive in partnership with 24 United Way chapters across the state.
Organizations said last week that the effort, which runs throughout June, is aimed at restocking local pantries with items to get them through the warmer months.
Every year, pantries are fully stocked during the winter months with holiday donations, but when summer arrives, donations dwindle and pantry shelves become scarce. This can leave low-income families with limited options during the summer, the Michigan United Way Association said.
The statewide Summer Stock Up event grew out of the popular “Christmas in June” food drive held annually by the United Way of Southwest Michigan (UWSM). In 2020, due to the pandemic, UWSM went from an in-person food drop-off event to a virtual event offering safe shopping options for donors to “shop for impact” by giving online.
“I congratulate United Way of Southwest Michigan and Kellogg for their leadership in expanding this important campaign to create statewide impact,” said Mike Larson, President and CEO of Michigan Association of United Ways. “We know there is important work to be done to better support the many Michigan residents who are struggling to make ends meet. Centraide continues to rise to the challenge and to do so.
The success of “Christmas in June” caught Kellogg’s attention, and the company and its charity fund reached out to help reconceptualize it as “summer stock” statewide. . As the primary sponsor, Kellogg invited 24 United Ways from Michigan to participate in the event. Additional support was provided by American Electric Power Foundation and Dash Digital Services. In-person and virtual versions of the event will be available depending on the needs and situations of each United Way.
Tackling food insecurity is linked to the work of the Michigan Association United Ways’ ALICE project, which identified that in 2019, 38% of Michigan households were working but struggling to make ends meet. These households – whose incomes are above the federal poverty line but below the basic cost of living – are called ALICE, which stands for Limited Assets, Limited Income, Employees.
Over the past decade, conditions have deteriorated for thousands of families across Michigan, paving the way for the dual health and economic crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic. Statewide Summer Stock Up events are one of the ways United Way chapters work to support ALICE families.
People can go to the Summer Stock Up event page to find their participating chapter and get involved.