For the 5th consecutive year Higher Hopes! will distribute 1,000 complete Thanksgiving meal kits so that families can enjoy dinner at home with loved ones. These “kits” contain everything from a 12-14-pound turkey and all the sides, including stuffing, Michigan potatoes, yams, all of the ingredients for green bean casserole, Zoup! Chicken Broth, Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix, cranberry sauce, apples, spices and Coca Cola products, all topped off with Cooper Street Cookies for dessert and much more.
Higher Hopes! also includes disposable plates, roasting pans, and cutlery for families. All of which is provided to families who have children enrolled in the Early Head Start Child Care Partnership Programs, which encompass the Early Head Start, Head Start and Great Start Readiness Programs in Detroit.
As an agency partner of Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeast Michigan, Higher Hopes! will utilize Gleaners facilities to store all food donations and pack up the meal kits. Pack-Up Day will be held at Gleaners on Saturday, Nov. 17, and Distribution Day will take place on Monday, Nov. 19 at four Head Start sites in the city of Detroit. Around 300 volunteers will assist in packing and distributing more than 65,000 pounds (four tractor-trailers loads) of food for the Thanksgiving holiday to families who have children enrolled at the Order of the Fishermen Ministry Head Start, Focus Hope Head Start, Star Fish Head Start, United Children and Families Head Start, Development Centers Head Start, New St. Paul and Matrix.
“Many people are not aware that 1,414,700 people in Michigan struggle with hunger and food insecurities, 356,930 of which are children,” says Bill Birndorf, Founder of Higher Hopes! “Many of these families have experienced homelessness or live in terrible situations, and most, if not all, are reliant on public assistance, church assistance, shelters, soup kitchens and charities to feed themselves and their children. We continue to raise funds and are amplifying our efforts to support the children and families who urgently need our help.”
Miranda Crammer, Higher Hopes! director and advocate says, “We also have a summer program that runs from April through October, which will begin its fourth year in 2019. We have developed plans to create 7,000 35-45-pound Meal Kits containing balanced, nutritious foods like chicken breasts or ground turkey, milk, rice, corn on the cob, watermelons, cabbage, etc. for next summer. We’re hoping to increase our numbers in 2019 in order to have a greater impact when children are home and out of school for the summer.”
“All told, since inception, we have distributed close to 800,000 pounds of food and we look forward to making the million-pound mark in 2019,” Birndorf says . “A million pounds of food, conservatively, is over 500,000 meals, which is equal to feeding every fan attending more than 23 sold out Red Wing games at the new Little Caesars Arena!”
Higher Hopes! is a registered 501 C 3 started by Bill Birndorf, owner of Commerce-based Apple Marketing Company, now in its 34th year. Birndorf came up with the idea for Higher Hopes! the night of Thanksgiving 2013 after seeing a news story about people in the city who were struggling to buy food for the holidays to feed their families.
For more information about Higher Hopes!, to make food or monetary donations, visit www.higherhopesdetroit.org or email email@example.com. The Higher Hopes! website allows for donations to be made electronically using credit or debit cards or donations can also be made via checks made out to Higher Hopes! and sent to 8898 Commerce Road, Suite 5C Commerce, MI 48382.