Every morning, the management team at the Greater Lansing Food Bank arrives early to prepare for the day’s food shipments to area food pantries.

Story by Christina Fecher
Video by Donavon Shellenbarger


But one day last month, it was clear something was terribly wrong.The office was trashed: Desks and chairs were broken, items were missing from employees’ desks, and computers, tools and cash were stolen.

“Can you believe it? Someone broke into a food bank!” exclaimed Joe Wald, Executive Director of the Greater Lansing Food Bank (GLFB) that services seven mid-Michigan counties. “The good news was that although we were delayed in the morning, our team got food out as planned (although about an hour late) and never missed a beat to help feed those in need.”

So when Meijer accepted a challenge from Michigan Lt. Gov. Brian Calley to participate in the #10GallonChallenge – to purchase 10 gallons of milk for a local food bank – the retailer didn’t hesitate to pay it forward to the Greater Lansing Food Bank.

But instead of just 10 gallons of milk, Meijer donated 100 gallons and $2,500 to help replace the items taken in the robbery.

“We do what we do with the support of the community and a great GLFB team, and Meijer’s gift helped a lot to replace those items,” Wald said. “As much as this helped, though, the emotional support of Meijer and many others across our community also meant a lot.”

Wald said the donated milk was delivered to its food pantry partners within a day and was on the tables of hungry families within another 24 hours.

“We’re always looking for fresh milk. Everybody needs it. Everybody loves it. When we can get it, it’s really special.”
— Joe Wald

The #10GallonChallenge is a social media challenge that encourages an individual or organization to purchase 10 gallons of milk and donate to a local food pantry or food bank. The goal is to not only help feed hungry families through supporting local food pantries and banks, but to also show support of Midwest dairy farmers.

The next step? Keeping the challenge going to benefit additional food banks. To learn more, please watch this video Meijer created for its #10GallonChallenge that passes the torch along to the University of Michigan’s Athletics Department.



Food Bank
Brian Calley

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