Food Bank of Eastern Michigan reaches $100,000 matching donation goal

Big John Steak & Onion matched individual gifts up to $100,000, raising a total of $200,000 in December
Published: Dec. 31, 2020 at 6:56 PM EST
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - With record-high unemployment, many residents are turning to local food pantries for help feeding their families.

The Food Bank of Eastern Michigan finished 2020 strong with a $200,000 matching donation campaign. Big John Steak & Onion matched gifts to the food bank during the month of December up to $100,000, which the organization reached on Thursday.

So individual donations totaling $100,000 multiplied to a total of $200,000 thanks to Big John Steak & Onion. The gifts came at a crucial time for the food bank.

“During a normal time our food insecurity rate is about 14%. Right now it’s about 40%,” said Patrick Hayes from the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan.

That need will continue into 2021.

“We’ve had to purchase food from further distances and so there is additional cost to get food here and get it distributed,” Hayes said. “So having an influx of donations during this time of year is huge for us.”

The food bank called on the community to help continue its mission with help from Big John Steak & Onion is helping.

“Big John has been so generous in their history, so it wasn’t surprising that they wanted to step up,” Hayes said. “But the level -- we’re just so grateful for the support.”

On the last day of December, the food bank was just shy of its goal until reaching it Thursday afternoon.

“Anytime there’s an emergency or people in need, there are always organizations and people who are willing to step up,” Hayes said.

To make a donation, go to the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan website and click the Big John Match button.

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