The Weingartz family legacy began in 1945 when Weingartz Feed Store first opened its doors. In its early days, the store served the needs of local farmers in Utica. The family business has grown and changed with the times and is now known as Weingartz Supply Co. As the company expanded, so did their ability to serve those in need.
Currently, the business operates in six locations and is owned by four members of the family’s third generation, including Dan Weingartz, who began working for the company at just 13 years old. He learned early on that charitable giving was a huge part the family business. In 2010, just as his father did before him, Dan filled his father’s shoes as the company’s president. With Dan at the helm, philanthropic giving has remained a core purpose of the company.
“We’ve always looked at our business as being an extension of our Christian faith. It’s always been a part of what we do,” Dan said.
Dan believes that food banks are one of the best ways to reach those in need, which is why the company now supports every food bank that exists near one of their stores.
“We try to be responsible in each of our communities,” Dan said.
Since the company originated near Detroit, the Weingartz family has been a longstanding supporter of Gleaners Community Food Bank – a nonprofit that has been serving their neighbors in Southeastern Michigan since 1977.
“In 2009 we were going through the great recession and we saw this tremendous need in the communities we were doing business,” Dan said.
At this time, Weingartz approached Gleaners to see if there was more they could do to support their neighbors facing hunger. The company’s previous donations had been given under the radar, and Gleaners suggested they should utilize their name recognition to maximize their impact. This is when the Mow Down Hunger campaign began. In 2012, the campaign expanded to include Feeding America West Michigan and Food Gatherers in Ann Arbor.
During the campaign, Weingartz matches donations received by each of the food banks they support. In 2018, Weingartz matched donations up to $25,000 for Feeding America West Michigan. Over the last six years of the campaign, the company has donated $112,500 in matching gifts to Feeding America West Michigan, enabling the food bank to distribute 450,000 meals. The additional $173,000 worth of contributions from individual donors brought the meals provided by the campaign to 1,142,000.
“The support from the communities we support is unbelievable,” Dan said.
Feeding America West Michigan is glad to have a supporter like Weingartz who harnesses the power of their communities to do the most good.
In 2019, the Mow Down Hunger campaign will run from Sept. 10 – Oct. 8. Go to feedwm.org/donate to double your donation’s impact!