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Gov. Snyder, volunteers working with Focus: HOPE to package holiday meals

Detroit Young Professionals, others assisting

Friday, Nov. 22, 2013

LANSING, Mich. — Gov. Rick Snyder, members of the Detroit Young Professionals and other volunteers will help fight hunger on Saturday by packaging food that will be delivered to seniors during the holiday season.

Snyder and the volunteers are working with Focus: HOPE, a Detroit-based civil and human rights organization, between 1 and 3:30 p.m. at the group’s warehouse, 1200 B Oakman Blvd. in Detroit. The media is welcome to attend the event between 2:45 and 3:30 p.m.

Boxes of food that the governor and other volunteers will pack on Saturday are for the organization’s Special Holiday Food Delivery to 1,200 senior citizens on Dec. 14. The annual holiday distribution usually attracts about 350 volunteers.

“It’s important to remember our seniors and Michiganders in need this holiday season, and the rest of the year, too,” said Snyder, who will be joined by First Lady Sue Snyder at the event.

“Groups like Focus: HOPE are vitally important in our communities. But there are ways that everyone can lend a hand in their hometowns. I encourage all Michiganders to look for opportunities to volunteer and improve the quality of life in their communities and our state has a whole. We can accomplish so much by working together.”

The volunteers are preparing boxes that will include commodity foods, turkeys or Cornish hens, potatoes and other items appropriate for a holiday meal. The fresh food was donated by local schools, churches, organizations and businesses, or purchased with money donated for the event.

“Volunteer efforts are vital to helping us provide food for the most vulnerable in our community,” said William F. Jones, Jr., Focus: HOPE CEO. “We’re grateful for the support.”

Focus: HOPE, founded in 1968, typically provides food to 4,000 women and children and 38,000 seniors each month. Volunteers pack 12,000 food boxes to distribute to senior centers, apartments and homebound residents as well as food centers in Detroit and Inkster.

Saturday’s event is part of the Michigan Ambassador Project, which encourages citizens to volunteer to “Do Something!” in their communities. The program helps Michiganders get connected to volunteer opportunities, share their stories of volunteerism or successes in the state, and pledge to get others involved.

Through the website, participants can get information on various volunteer opportunities. Users also may text “ACTION” to 25827 or call 1-855-440-6424 to get involved.

“Do Something Michigan is a wonderful way for people to get involved,” Snyder said. “Everyone can make a difference in their community and be an ambassador for our state, and this is a great opportunity to take part. Let’s do something!”

Information about volunteering at future Focus: HOPE events can be found on the organization’s website.