Gleaners Community Food Bank kicks off 8th annual Hunger Free Summer campaign

Program part of Gleaners' MILK movement

DETROIT – A Detroit food bank is inviting everyone to help them launch a yearly campaign to help feed children in need over the summer.

Gleaners Community Food Bank is launching its eighth annual Hunger Free Summer campaign from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Emerald Springs Townhomes -- 5825 Emerald Springs Circle in Detroit.

The campaign runs through Labor Day and is part of the food bank's Making Investments in the Lives of Kids (MILK) movement. Just $1 provides six nutritious meals for hungry children in southeast Michigan. The campaign received donations from Citizens Bank, Ford and others.

"Gleaners knows kids who don't have enough to eat face a summer nutrition gap that can contribute to academic struggles when they return to school," said Gleaners president and CEO Gerry Brisson. "The meals we raise through Hunger Free Summer offer immediate and much-needed relief and stability to those families so their children can go back to school healthy and ready to learn. I'm grateful to Citizens and all of our match partners for making this possible."

The Hunger Free Summer campaign will serve up to 100 families each with 89 monthly mobile pantries. There will be nearly 90 total summer meal sites that serve more than 150,000 meals. More than half of the meal sites will serve breakfast, and some will serve on Saturdays. 

Gleaners is also running a "Vacation Station" concept that provides kids in the Emerald Springs community with healthy food and a "summer camp" experience which features music, physical and organized play activities based around a lunch service. This is open to the public for two hours every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from June 19 to Aug. 16.

The "Vacation Station" concept kick-off event will feature Detroit Pistons mascot Hooper, a magician, nutrition education with healthy snacks, face painting, a live DJ, a mobile food pantry distribution and more.

To donate to the Hunger Free Summer campaign, visit www.HungerFreeSummer.com, call 855-315-3663, text "HFS" to 515-55 or mail a check to 2131 Beaufait, Detroit, MI, 48207.