June 12, 2014 — Comstock Park, Michigan — At its Many Hands Against Hunger fundraising luncheon Tuesday, Feeding America West Michigan Food Bank raised $48,000, enough to provide 192,000 meals to food-insecure families in West Michigan and the Upper Peninsula.
Judge Sara Smolenski gave a keynote speech that wove anecdotes from her years on the 63rd District Court together with a plea to care for those struggling in our midst.
To cap the program, Smolenski invited nine-year-old Owen Ronning to join her on stage. Ronning talked about how receiving food at a Mobile Food Pantry motivated him to become a Food Bank advocate. Last year, Ronning raised money to sponsor his own Mobile Pantry in Jamestown Township, feeding 117 families. His third grade class is now selling popsicles to bring a second distribution to the community.
If a nine-year-old can make a difference in the fight against hunger, Smolenski said, imagine what all of us can do.
The program also featured a performance by local artists Rebekah Rhys and Mark Sala, and an award presentation that honored Buist Community Assistance Center, Golden K Kiwanis, Country Fresh and the Northwest Food Coalition for their partnership with Feeding America West Michigan. Sysco and Kiolbassa Provision Company donated food for the event.