Kalamazoo, MI – The Comerica Bank and Kalamazoo Growlers Food Drive, which culminated during a pre-game ceremony prior to the Growlers home game on Friday, August 12, generated over 61,000 meals for the South Michigan Food Bank and will aid in the efforts to reduce food insecurity in the community.
Comerica Bank volunteers celebrate after successfully loading approximately 1,400 non-perishable food items to support South Michigan Food Bank as part of the Comerica Bank and Kalamazoo Growlers Food Drive. The donated items, combined with a $10,000 check presented to South Michigan Food Bank, will provide more than 61,000 meals to help reduce food insecurity in the community.
"The South Michigan Food Bank supplies the Kalamazoo community with so much more than just food, they give second chances and hope to those that need it most," said Debra Van Hevele, Comerica Bank senior vice president and regional retail director. "That's what makes this partnered food drive so special. Comerica believes in supporting and investing in programs like South Michigan Food Bank that protect our community's most vulnerable members."
During the summer, Comerica Bank collected approximately 1,400 non-perishable food items at local banking centers and during Growlers' home games. Additionally, Comerica Bank executives presented a $10,000 check to South Michigan Food Bank in support of its aid to the community.
"With costs of essentials up 9.1% this year, our neighbors are seeking South Michigan Food Bank services to acquire food to make room in their budget for other basic needs. Partnering with 335 food sites, together we ensure they not only have food but can also buy gas to get to work, pay rent, and obtain what they need to thrive," said Peter Vogel, CEO of South Michigan Food Bank. "Through this partnership with the Kalamazoo Growlers and Comerica Bank, we are reaching families who are fighting food insecurity to provide that extra support — Comerica Bank's $10,000 donation alone will provide enough grocery products for 60,000 meals. We can't thank Comerica and the Growlers enough for their generosity and service to this community."
A special on-field celebration was held in recognition of the donations brought in by the Kalamazoo community, with more than 3,000 community members present. The collected donations were piled high in a truck stationed at the centerfield gate to showcase the success and impact of the drive. The festive presentation was accompanied by the Kalamazoo Central High School Band and Cheerleading team.
"The Growlers were honored to be a part of this incredible community effort and are inspired by the generosity of our fellow neighbors," said Brian Colopy, owner of the Kalamazoo Growlers. "With the help of our community members and Comerica Bank, this joint food drive has exceeded our expectations and generated a greater impact on our community than we ever could have imagined."
Over the past four years, Comerica Bank has contributed more than $20,000 in financial support to South Michigan Food Bank, generating over 120,000 meals.
For more information about the Comerica Bank Kalamazoo Growlers Food Drive or other charitable community initiatives, visit comerica.com. To donate funds or learn more about South Michigan Food Bank, visit smfoodbank.org/donate.