Hashtag Lunchbag Detroit helping to feed city's homeless

Volunteers pack lunch bags for homeless in Detroit

By Will Jones - Reporter
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This group of volunteers makes up the Hashtag Lunchbag Detroit team.

DETROIT - It's hashtag movement, so we have to put the hashtag in front of it," said Brittni Brown of Hashtag Lunchbag Detroit. "So individuals will know about it."

On the last Sunday of each month a group of dedicated young people get together and pack lunches on Detroit's west side.

"Being a part of this allows me, once a month, to come back and just do a little something to help give back," said volunteer Curtis Huffman.

Hashtag Lunchbag is a social media campaign that began in 2012 in Los Angeles to attract volunteers to help raise awareness and eliminate hunger. It reached Detroit exactly one year ago.

"We just wanted to bring it to Detroit because we have a high rate of homelessness in our city," Brown said. "So why not?"

Shaquitta Stanley and her six-year-old daughter, Jordyn, are first-timers. Stanley heard about the campaign on Instagram.

"I wanted her to come out," Stanley said of her daughter. "I wanted her at an early age to learn about giving back to the community."

Added Jordyn: "I like helping because it's very fun to me."

On Sunday the volunteers packed more than 300 brown bags with bologna sandwiches, cookies, fruit and bottled water into their cars and handed them out across the city. And each brown bag comes with a written message.

Hashtag Lunchbag Detroit says the impact of this gesture goes way beyond one good meal.

"We were giving out the lunches and one of the people we were giving it to asked us why we were giving them or who sent us," said volunteer Andy Rutebuka. "And he was telling us basically God sent us. So that really touched me."

Hashtag Lunchbag Detroit is always looking for donations. If you would like to help, reach out to the campaign's Paypal email: hashtaglunchbagdetroit@gmail.com.

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