By Jasmine Seales
Listen Up Lansing Staff Reporter
On Monday, June 13 the City of Lansing Human Relations and Community Services Department held a food drive at a local Meijer location in order to help battle against child hunger in Lansing and the Greater Lansing area.
The HRCS director, Dr. Joan Jackson Johnson stated “the amount of food donated was astounding, our Greater Lansing residents are very generous and understand the issue of hunger in our community. It’s one of the many issues that the HRCS is trying hard to fix.” Though Jackson was reluctant to state exactly how much food was donated.
Along with the HRCS and their efforts, the Greater Lansing Food Bank also has distributed over 7 million pounds of food last year to the mid-Michigan area to feed starving families.
The food bank states that in Ingham County, in which Lansing is the largest city, over 49,000 people suffer from food insecurity. Within households with food insecurity, 38 percent of these family members are children, and one in four children will go to sleep hungry every night.
A frequent food bank client, Alicia Adams, a single mother of four, said that the food bank is extremely helpful for her family, especially during the summer months.
“I work full-time, and still struggle to feed my family. I had government benefits that were taken away which put me in a hard place. Things are easier during the school year because my children participate in the free lunch program,” Adams said.
“Sometimes it goes as deep as choosing to pay a bill or feed my family, or me choosing to skip meals for the day to make sure my boys eat. Hunger is a serious deal,” said Adams.
Daniele Reisbig, development manager at the bank, encourages residents to donate their time, money and food in order to continue feeding local families, since often times, the meals that some families receive from the bank are the only meals they may have access to.
Also, Reisbig strongly encourages other local organizations to continue to host food drives, but also encourages organizations to host “fund drives” where Greater Lansing residents are encouraged to donate money to the bank, where food can be purchased at wholesale prices, and dollars can be stretched much more efficiently, and more families can be serviced.
RaShante’ Carbin, a volunteer for the food bank, shared how important it was for her to help the Lansing community.
“I remember being a child and seeing our cabinets empty. Its not fun to know that your parents are struggling to feed you and you’re too young to help. I want this to stop in our community. We need hope, not hunger,” Carbin said.