DEARBORN - The Ford Volunteer Corps was cooking, baking and boiling, and slicing and dicing on a Ford Accelerated Action Day dedicated to feeding the hungry. More than 600 Ford employees teamed up with nonprofit partners to feed men, women and children in need. MODEL Teams of Ford volunteers also stocked shelves at food banks, packed and delivered food boxes, and prepared and served meals at shelters, residential facilities and soup kitchens.
“We depend on volunteers to do what we do,” said Brother Jerry Smith, executive director, Capuchin Soup Kitchen. “Ford has been very supportive over the years beginning at the very top of the organization all the way down to individual employees. We’re very grateful.”
The Capuchin Soup Kitchen was one of many nonprofits that shared more than $53,000 in Ford grants to buy the food and materials needed to complete their projects. The other partners included City Mission, COTS, Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries, FOCUS: Hope, Gleaners, Food Gatherers, Lighthouse of Oakland County, Matrix Human Services, Ruth Ellis Center, Salvation Army, Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Southwest Solutions, Starfish Family Services, Veteran’s Haven, and Vista Maria.
“It isn’t easy seeing so many of our neighbors hungry or down on their luck,” said Janet Lawson, director, Ford Volunteer Corps. “But Ford and its employees care, and it is gratifying to see our volunteers pitching in and comforting so many. It makes all of us truly thankful and appreciative for what we have.”
Ford volunteers participated in more than three dozen projects on this Accelerated Action Day, and also sponsored a Winter Coat and Jacket Drive in southeast Michigan to help keep children and families warm during the winter months.
“It’s an awesome experience,” said Joyce Jarzombek, Ford designer. “You leave with the great feeling that you’ve helped people and you want to do more.”
Ford and its employees support many efforts throughout the year to help feed the hungry, including a 12 year partnership with Newman’s Own® that has contributed 107 refrigerated Ford trucks to help Feeding America deliver more than 209 million meals to families across the country. Ford Motor Company Fund also has provided Transit Connect Mobile Food Pantries to 25 community organizations that deliver food and help with disaster relief in states from coast to coast.
“It’s a great opportunity,” said Dianne Malesko, Ford electrical engineer. “You get to meet the people that are in need, and have a relationship with them and realize they have the all same hopes and aspirations you have, and then hard times hit.”
“It’s very often the volunteers who are changed,” said Brother Jerry. “They often come thinking they are going to give something and they do, but they also receive something. Sometimes it’s a whole different way of looking at life. It opens our eyes to the world.”
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