The craft beer community is my home and I feel welcome in it. Why? Well it’s the people really, good people that happen to like good beer. As I continue to meet brewers, beer fans and professionals in the industry I just can’t get over how much we care about each other. Instinctively I think we all know that helping each other succeed in this industry helps the entire industry to grow (A rising tide lifts all boats). We do not grow at the expense of others. This common understanding forms our culture – the culture of craft beer. We collectively want everyone in this industry to “win” because it helps us all.
For just one example, look at some of the brewers we’ve interviewed at Sommbeer. I’ve met so many young brewers that are grateful for some established brewer or brewery owner, for helping them early in their career. Can you imagine any other industry that reaches out to others and helps to create it’s own competition? We are different because we all know it’s not just about the beer.
Sommbeer will be publishing a series of articles about a brewery that happens to be in my home town. They also happen to be supporting a charity that feeds hungry children and families. My local brewery works hard to give back to the community it belongs to and I suspect your brewery does too.
If you drove through my town, you would see well manicured lawns, some nice restaurants and a couple of breweries. We have our occasional issues but it’s a nice place to live. You would never suspect there are 1,168 kids that would not eat if they didn’t receive some form of assistance. The Witch’s Hat and their event “Fury for a Feast” is our town’s effort to help.
Our town’s charity event is on August 27, but along the way we want to hear from you about your brewery and how it helps your community.
Blessings in a Backpack
Children that show up to school healthy and well-nourish learn better. They are more likely to attend school and take advantage of educational opportunities. Undernourished children are at a disadvantage from the moment they walk into school. Poor nutrition increases fatigue, shortens attention span, and decreases work capacity. Food insecure children tend to be absent more often because of illnesses. The Blessings in a Backpack addresses the problem of hunger for food insecure school children
At any given time over 19.5 million children (2011 statistic) cannot access food consistently and have to reduce food intake, eat poor diets and often go without any food. While it seems unlikely that children in Michigan would go to bed hungry on weekends, in reality, between 5% and 90% of the children in school districts are at risk.
The Blessings in a Backpack program helps those families meet their nutritional needs on weekends when the students don’t have access to the meals they receive at school.
A backpack is sent home each Friday, with a qualifying student, filled with food and returned on Monday to be refilled for the following Friday. Each backpack contains several pounds of foods such as tuna, peanut butter, macaroni and cheese, fruit juices, pastas, oatmeal, fruit bars, and soup. The food is provided at reduced costs through special arrangements with the Meijer grocery chain. If Meijer’s does not service a local community, then arrangements are made with other community providers.
For as little as $2.40 we are able fill a backpack for a child to take home on Friday. A donation of $100 will provide food in a backpack for a child for the entire school year.
With the help of groups of concerned community leaders, philanthropic and business partners, caring citizens and you, Blessings in a Backpack has become a driving force against childhood hunger in the United States. See how you can make a difference in the lives of so many of our hungry neighborhood children.
Gleaners Community Food Bank:
Everyone wins when hunger is solved. For nearly 40 years, Gleaners Community Food Bank has been “feeding hungry people and nourishing our communities.”
Headquartered in Detroit, Gleaners operates five distribution centers in Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Livingston and Monroe counties and provides food to 535 partner soup kitchens, food pantries, shelters and other agencies throughout southeastern Michigan. Gleaners collects 34.5 million pounds of food a year and distributes 79,000 meals each day including providing nourishing food and nutrition education to 84,700 children a year. Every dollar donated provides three meals and 93 cents of every donated dollar goes to food and food programs.