Jeffrey Mosher catches up with Mike Larson, President & CEO, Michigan Association of United Ways, Battle Creek, MI, to discuss the Statewide Summer Stock Up.
Their discussion covers: The Michigan Association of United Ways (MAUW) and Kellogg Company, along with 24 local United Ways, just kicked off the first-ever “Summer Stock Up” food drive.
Hear Mike discuss with Jeffrey Statewide Summer Stock Up in the podcast shared below
From the interview above, these questions were covered;
Can you tell me about the food drive?
· Every year, food pantries are fully stocked in the winter months thanks to generous holiday donations—but when summer comes, donations drop considerably and pantry shelves become sparse. What kind of impact does that have on local families?
· I understand this program was inspired by the popular “Christmas in June” local food drive that was hosted annually by United Way of Southwest Michigan. Can you tell me about how the program grew to be statewide?
· Where can listeners learn more about how their local United Way might be involved in the Summer Stock Up?
· Addressing food insecurities is directly tied to the work of the Michigan Association of United Ways’ ALICE Project. What is the ALICE Project, and what has it showed us in recent years?
The Michigan Association of United Ways also shared the following release for additional information on the topic.
With Kellogg Company and its charitable fund as a primary driver, United Ways across Michigan are participating in a statewide event to collect food throughout June
LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan Association of United Ways (MAUW) and Kellogg Company today announced 24 local United Ways will participate in the first-ever “Summer Stock Up” food drive. The effort, taking place throughout June, is intended to restock local food pantries with items to get them through the warmer months.
Every year, food pantries are fully stocked in the winter months thanks to generous holiday donations—but when summer comes, donations drop considerably and pantry shelves become sparse. This can leave low-income, hard-working families with limited options during this time of year.
The statewide Summer Stock Up event evolved out of the popular “Christmas in June” local food drive that was hosted annually by United Way of Southwest Michigan. In 2020, because of the pandemic, UWSM pivoted from an in-person food drop-off event to a virtual event that provided safe shopping options that allowed donors to “shop their impact” by giving online.
Visit https://www.uwmich.org/summer-stock-up to get involved and find your participating county.
“I commend the United Way of Southwest Michigan and Kellogg for their leadership in expanding this important drive to create statewide impact,” said Mike Larson, President, and CEO of the Michigan Association of United Ways. “We know there is significant work to do to better support the many Michigan residents struggling to make ends meet. United Ways continue to rise to the challenge and do just that.”
The success of “Christmas in June” caught the attention of Kellogg, and the company and its charitable fund stepped in to help reconceptualize it as a statewide “Summer Stock Up.” As the premier sponsor, Kellogg has been a leader in rallying 24 United Ways in Michigan to the cause. Additional support has been 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.
Addressing food insecurities is directly tied to the work of the Michigan Association of United Ways’ ALICE Project, which identified that in 2019, 38 percent of Michigan households worked but struggled to make ends meet. Those households—whose incomes are above the Federal Poverty Level but below the basic cost of living—are referred to as ALICE, which stands for “Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed.”
Over the last decade, behind the veneer of a strong economy, conditions have actually worsened for thousands of families across Michigan—setting the stage for the dual health and economic crises of the COVID-19 pandemic. The statewide “Summer Stock Up” events are just one way United Ways are working to support ALICE families.
About the Michigan Association of United Ways
Michigan Association of United Ways (MAUW) is a partner in developing powerful responses to current and emerging issues in local communities. The State Association provides leadership in policy influence and capacity building to affect positive change. MAUW serves approximately 35 local United Ways that represent the largest network of non-governmental service providers and service funders in Michigan, collectively raising and distributing significant resources to support local health and human service organizations.