Children’s Cereal Drive Goes Virtual to Help Families During Pandemic

Nurses at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan estimate 300,000 children are at risk of hunger while schools are out. They’ve updated a 10-year tradition to go virtual during the pandemic.

The closure of schools due to COVID-19, mass layoffs and widespread unemployment have led to food insecurity for many families in Michigan.

Former donors are “the ones needing help. I’ve never received an email before asking me directly how my family can get this.” — Pam Taurence, Children’s Hospital

For 10 years, nurses at the Detroit Medical Center’s Children’s Hospital of Michigan have been purchasing and packing boxes of cereal every summer for hungry kids throughout Southeast Michigan. The group estimates 300,000 children in southeast Michigan who rely on school meals are at risk of hunger  when school is out.

This year, organizers had to pivot under the shadow of a pandemic and statewide stay-at-home orders.

“When all this pandemic hit, [our] first thought [was] we’re not going to be able to do this,” says Pam Taurence, registered nurse and project coordinator at the hospital. “We‘re all working in the health field” which was focused on coronavirus, she explains.

Click here to donate to the Children’s Hospital virtual cereal drive.

Then the nurses began hearing from from donors — this time looking for assistance.

Former donors are “the ones needing help,” Taurence says. “I’ve never received an email before asking me directly how my family can get this.”

For the virtual cereal drive, the group is asking for financial donations to allow for providing breakfast in partnership with Gleaners Food Bank, which is sourcing 25% more food to meet increased need in the area and has served 77,000 more families since mid-March. 

The drive runs through Monday, June 8. You can give here.

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  • Tia Graham
    Tia Graham is a reporter and Weekend Edition Host for 101.9 WDET. She graduated from Michigan State University where she had the unique privilege of covering former President Barack Obama and his trip to Lansing in 2014.