As schools wind down, United Way gears up to feed thousands of children

Friday, June 16, 2017

Organization aims to exceed 1 million meals served at more than 700 partner sites across the tri-county area.

 When the final bell rings signaling the start of the summer school break, its typically a time of excitement for most children. But for those relying on the school’s food service program for breakfast and/or lunch, it can cause great anxiety because when school is out, they go hungry. To better ensure no child goes hungry this summer, United Way for Southeastern Michigan is hosting five community Block Parties to broaden awareness of the annual free summer meals program, known as Meet Up and Eat Up, for children ages 18 and younger.

FCA US LLC is United Way’s signature sponsor for this year’s block parties that will offer free food, entertainment, and health-related activities for the entire family. A bounce house, face painting and reading stations will be on site for the children, and the automaker’s World Class Manufacturing Academy Mobile Unit, a state-of-the-art rolling classroom, will be stationed at block parties in Wayne and Macomb counties. FCA US employees will also be engaged as volunteers at all Meet Up and Eat Up sites.

“Thanks to all of our dedicated Meet Up and Eat Up site partners and corporate sponsors like FCA US, the free summer meals program will benefit thousands of children and their families,” says Herman Gray, president and CEO, United Way for Southeastern Michigan. “Since our involvement in the program in 2012, more than 7 million meals have been served. But there’s still much work to do as long as there are families that are unaware of this worthy program.”

United Way Block Party locations

  • Wednesday, June 21, 3 to 6 p.m., Parkman Library, 1766 Oakman Blvd., Detroit
  • Saturday, June 24, 1 to 4 p.m., Pontiac Beaudette Park, 786 Orchard Lake Road, Pontiac
  • Wednesday, June 28, 3 to 6 p.m., Rosie’s Park, 27107 Hales, Madison Heights
  • Tuesday, July 11, 3 to 6 p.m., Williams Recreation Center, 8431 Rosa Parks Blvd., Detroit
  • Thursday, July 13, 3 to 6 p.m., Jimmy Paul Boxing Gym, 5620 East 7 Mile Road, Detroit

Meet Up and Eat Up is a nationally recognized brand offering children access to free delicious and nutritious meals, Monday through Friday, through collaborative partnerships with more than 700 sites across Macomb, Oakland and Wayne Counties.

For a Meet Up and Eat Up site near you, text “FOOD” to 877-877 or dial 2-1-1 or visit