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Here’s how you can help Children’s Hospital’s ‘Cereal Drive for Gleaners’

 Here’s how you can help Children’s Hospital’s ‘Cereal Drive for Gleaners’

For children across southeast Michigan who depend on the school cafeteria for reliable meals, summer vacation can mean hunger.

In southeast Michigan, more than 317,000 children qualify for free or reduced-price meals in school. Feeding America estimates that in 2022, 1 in 5 children in southeast Michigan were food insecure, up from 1 in 7 children in 2021.

To help, the Children’s Hospital of Michigan’s Professional Nurse Council and Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan are kicking off the 15th annual “Healthy Over Hungry Cereal Drive.”

The Cereal Drive is taking place both virtually and in person at Children’s Hospital of Michigan locations and other spots in the community from May 31 to June 7. Additional sponsors include WNIC 100.3-FM and iHeart Media.

“This community effort provides children with a consistent daily meal over summer recess – an important way to support children’s health,” said Children’s Hospital of Michigan CEO Archie Drake.

“We don’t want to just treat children when they are sick. We want to be part of the community effort to keep children healthy, too. And we know a healthy diet plays an important part.”

How it started

Pam Taurence, a registered nurse at Children’s Hospital of Michigan, founded the Healthy Over Hungry Cereal Drive in 2010.

Taurence and her fellow nurses noticed that many of their youngest patients were losing access to school-based nutrition programs during the summer months. So she rallied her fellow nurses and her community to help the children and families struggling with hunger.

Since the effort began, the Cereal Drive has collected more than 13 million servings of cereal, including an option to purchase cereal and milk online.

“The unfortunate reality is that when school is out, hunger sets in, and children shouldn’t have to worry about where their next meals are coming from,” said Angela Halverson, Director of Community Giving for Gleaners.

“That’s why collaboration and community support are so important, like during The Cereal Drive. Together, we can make a big difference to help kids thrive all summer long, ready to learn in the fall.”

Milk is one of the most sought-after products at Gleaner’s distributions. In its fiscal year 2023, Gleaners distributed more than 762,000 gallons of fluid milk at local distribution sites.

Milk donations

As part of the Cereal Drive, Gleaners’ partner, United Dairy Industry of Michigan, will match each online milk donation dollar-for-dollar – up to 80,000 servings of milk – during the month of June, National Dairy Month.

After the Cereal Drive wraps up at 11 a.m. Friday, June 7, all of the physical cereal is transported to Gleaners’ South Campus in Taylor to be distributed within Gleaners’ nearly 400-member partner network of soup kitchens, agencies, pantries and other hunger-relief organizations.

To donate cereal or milk online, visit www.childrensdmc.org/CerealDrive.

To drop off boxes of unopened cereal, visit:

May 31 and June 3-6: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
June 7: 8:00 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Children’s Hospital of Michigan
3901 Beaubien Boulevard, Detroit, MI 48201
People can pull up to the circle drive to drop off cereal.  Valet will be aware of the drive and bins will be in the lobby for cereal drop-off.

Saturday, June 1
Southgate Kroger

16705 Fort Street, Southgate, 48195
9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Wednesday, June 5 **NEW rush-hour evening drop-off
TROY Children’s Hospital of Michigan
350 W. Big Beaver Road, Troy, 48084
5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Thursday, June 6
Royal Oak Kroger

2200 Twelve Mile Road, Royal Oak, 48067
6:00 a.m. to noon
Jay Towers and WNIC 100.3-FM will be hosting this event and broadcasting live from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., along with live shots with Fox 2.

As arranged
To schedule a drop-off at other times between May 31-June 7 or for assistance with larger drop-offs, call 313-745-6456.

For more information, visit www.childrensdmc.org/CerealDrive.

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Ed Wright

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