United Way of Genesee County launches Summer Stock Up food drive for local pantries

GENESEE COUNTY — With Kellogg’s as a primary driver, United Ways across Michigan are participating in a first-ever statewide event to collect food in their areas, throughout June.

Every year, food pantries across Genesee and Shiawassee Counties are fully stocked in the winter months thanks to generous holiday donations—but when summer comes, donations drop considerably, and pantry shelves become sparse. This can leave low-income, hard-working families with limited options during this time of year.

United Way of Genesee County asks local businesses and community members to participate in our “Summer Stock Up” event to restock local food pantries with items to get them through the warmer months.

Join United Way in bringing some cheer to local pantries this June.

Drop-off locations and dates/times:

Randy Wise Chevrolet -5100 Clio Rd., Flint

Randy Wise Buick GMC – 2530 Owen Rd., Fenton

Randy Wise Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM – 4239 W. Vienna Rd., Clio

Randy Wise Chrysler Jeep Dodge RAM of Durand – 902 N Saginaw St, Durand

Randy Wise Ford – 968 S Ortonville Rd., Ortonville

Randy Wise Hyundai – 4350 Lennon Rd., Flint

Randy Wise Auto Depot – 5305 W Pierson Rd., Flushing

Drop off times for all locations:

Monday & Thursday: 9 a.m.–8 p.m.

Tuesday & Wednesday: 9 a.m.–6 p.m.

Friday: 9 a.m.– 6 p.m.

Saturday: 9 a.m.– 4 p.m.

OR “shop your impact” online: www.unitedwaygenesee.org/summer-stock OR Text UWGCFood to 41444 on your cell

The statewide Summer Stock Up event evolved out of the popular “Christmas in June” local food drive that was done annually by United Way of Southwest Michigan. In 2020, because of the pandemic, UWSM pivoted from an in-person food drop-off event to a virtual event that provided safe shopping options that allowed donors to “shop their impact” by giving online.

The success of “Christmas in June” caught the attention of Kellogg’s, and the corporation stepped in to help reconceptualize it as a statewide “Summer Stock Up.” As the premiere sponsor, Kellogg’s has been a leader in rallying 23 United Ways in Michigan to the cause. In-person and virtual versions of the event will be available depending on the needs and situations of each United Way.

Addressing food insecurity is critical- 38 percent of Michigan households work but struggle to make ends meet.

Those households—whose incomes are above the Federal Poverty Level but below the basic cost of living—are referred to as ALICE, which stands for “Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed.”

Over the last decade, behind the veneer of a strong economy, conditions have actually worsened for thousands of families across Michigan—setting the stage for the dual health and economic crises of the COVID-19 pandemic. Why?

The cost of living has been increasing for ALICE households.

The economy is increasingly dominated by jobs with low wages and less security.

The number of ALICE households in Michigan increased in response to the Great Recession and never fully recovered.

Much of United Way’s impact work is designed to help ALICE. Michigan United Ways report annually on ALICE data and analysis. — G.G.