DEARBORN – A recent virtual food drive was a resounding success for the team in Emerging Market Services (EMS).
The drive benefiting Gleaners Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan represented a first for EMS. Although employees could – and did – contribute non-perishable food items, they also had the option to make a donation online, and could even specify the type of food they wanted to contribute.
The month-long fundraiser raised $2,330 for Gleaners, including proceeds from the sale of snacks and beverages, and $600 received through a matching grant program. Rhonda Yoder, a product marketing analyst, said the total far exceeded their expectations. “We had hoped to raise $1,000, which would enable Gleaners to purchase 3,000 meals, so we’re thrilled that we’re going to provide nearly 7,000 meals to people in our communities.”
EMS provides Marketing, Sales and Service support to emerging and opportunity markets throughout Ford Motor Company’s global business units. Every month its Diversity and Community Service Council selects one or more charities for employees to support.
While each charity has a champion or two who coordinate the fundraisers, Yoder – who led the fund-raising effort in March with council treasurer Janet Dutkewych – says EMS employees will not stand by when people are going hungry.
Because Gleaners accepts online contributions, Dutkewych, a product marketing analyst, says the council decided to try its first virtual food drive. “There was so much snow this winter we were concerned people carrying bags of food to and from their cars might be more likely to slip and fall, and we didn’t want to risk that. Doing it online is also more environmentally friendly because it doesn’t require bags, boxes or transportation.”
Financial contributions also enable Gleaners to help more people. Every dollar raised allows the organization to provide three meals to someone in need. “The people at EMS and Ford Motor Company have been wonderful partners for many years,” says Anne Schenk, Gleaners vice president of Advancement. “They’ve volunteered their time in addition to making generous financial contributions, and have helped countless individuals throughout southeastern Michigan.”
Last year, Gleaners distributed 41 million pounds of emergency food to more than 550 soup kitchens, shelters and pantries in the five-county region.