Bars join forces to volunteer with food bank

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Photos by Steve Thorpe

By Steve Thorpe
Legal News

Sometimes two bars are better than one.

More than 20 attorneys from the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association Barristers Section and the Wayne Region of Women Lawyers Association of Michigan joined forces April 11 for Gleaners Volunteer Day at Gleaners Community Food Bank in Detroit.

The volunteers spent the afternoon working at tasks assigned by staffers at the food distribution facility.

"It's the third year of our partnership with the DMBA," said co-organizer Nichole Hunter of the Allen Law Group in Detroit. "We try for an even participation between the two groups. This year our target was for 15 from each organization."

Gleaners was founded four decades ago to solicit surplus food, store it safely, and distribute it to agencies that are the direct providers to the hungry in the community.

The food bank provides more than 30 million pounds of emergency food to more than 510 partner soup kitchens, shelters and pantries in Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Livingston and Monroe counties.

The organization is proud that it uses 94 cents of every dollar it receives for food and food programs. One dollar provides three meals for a hungry neighbor.

Dan Phillips of Dickinson Wright and his wife Lauren Phillips of Dykema Gossett are co-chairs of the DMBA Barristers Charitable Committee and were instrumental in selecting Gleaners as an organization to be assisted.

"We had both done Gleaners events before, were impressed, and decided to continue to support them," Dan said. "Every time I've been here I've done a different task."

Abril Valdes of Triumph Law was impressed with the outing.

"I didn't know much about the Gleaners, but it's been a great experience," she said. "I think I'll do it again next year."

Ellen Hoeppner of Clark Hill is a returning volunteer.

I've been here a couple years and love helping out," she said. "It's a great way to give back to the community. They make volunteering really easy, but at the same time you know you're having a big impact. Also, we're all busy during the week, so having the weekend opportunity is great."

Hoeppner, who was working with fresh carrots, is also impressed by the range and quality of the food.

"It's nice to see that they distribute fresh produce in addition to packaged. It's nice to know that lower income people are getting that option."

Published: Tue, Apr 14, 2015

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