Two teams from our company’s Detroit-based headquarters recently set our #DoGreatThings value in motion by volunteering with Forgotten Harvest, a nonprofit dedicated to relieving hunger and preventing nutritious food waste in the city and across the metro area. According to the latest data from the Detroit Food Policy Council, 69% of Detroit households are food insecure, a population that’s well above the national rate of 11% of households. To help address the hunger epidemic, Forgotten Harvest delivers 138,000 pounds of food to local charities each day, providing families in need with free, fresh and delicious food.
Preparing food for metro Detroiters
Brittany Aller, senior manager on our Detroit-based local account management (LAM) team, spearheaded a volunteer effort among 15 team members to support Forgotten Harvest’s mission-critical warehouse operations. These Urban Scientists inspected, sorted and weighed thousands of pounds of donated food before it was packed and distributed.
Our volunteers included: Andy Bedsworth, Joseph Gaber, Michael Harris, Paul Karam, Tom Little, Alessandro Marazza, Thivya Mariappen, Daniel Manasse, Jeffery Musson, Benjamin Orchanian, Kevin Phan, Esther Priebe, Conner Robosan and Tomas Sadik.
“Seeing the sheer volume of food that’s processed and delivered by Forgotten Harvest each day, and working alongside volunteers from different companies and walks of life to help get food to those in need, created a strong sense of community and purpose for everyone involved in our team’s service,” said Brittany. “This experience also allowed us to learn more about each other and to deepen our relationships with each other and our local community. I know I can speak for our company’s volunteers when I say we’re grateful to play an ongoing role in this important work.”
Distributing food on Detroit’s west side
Mallary Becker, senior communications specialist, also led an effort to support Forgotten Harvest’s mission at Alternatives for Girls, a Detroit-based non-profit focused on supporting girls and women experiencing homelessness or other risks. Mallary and seven members of the company’s marketing and corporate communication teams volunteered at Alternatives for Girls, packing food boxes and loading them into cars that were wrapped around the building (and block).
Members of this team’s volunteers were:
Brian Bleau, Amy Bowering, Natalie Cieslak, Katie Keith, Betsy Marietti, Kate Rabette and Jazmin Reddit.
“Our company regularly encourages team members to volunteer and make a difference in their communities and after hearing – and writing about – several of my global colleague’s volunteer experiences, I was inspired to get a team involved as there are many communities in need in our backyard,” said Mallary. “Our time serving alongside Forgotten Harvest underscored the point that fighting food insecurity is truly a community effort – from nonprofits and volunteers to those who came to get food to distribute to their family members and neighbors.”
Forgotten Harvest and Alternatives for Girls were both recipients of an Urban Science Community Giving grant in 2022 and 2023. The microgrant program awards $15,000 annually to employee nominated organizations that support communities in need.
Our company empowers our team members to volunteer through 12 paid volunteer hours each year. Click here to learn more about our other community efforts.
About Forgotten Harvest
Founded in 1990, Forgotten Harvest collects food that would otherwise likely go to waste to feed those in need. The organization rescued more than 40 million pounds of food last year by collecting surplus prepared and perishable food from more than 560 locations. Those locations include restaurants, caterers, dairies, farmers, wholesale food distributors, grocery stores, fruit and vegetable markets and other sources approved by government health departments.
About Alternatives for Girls
Alternatives for Girls mission is to help girls and young women experiencing homelessness and other risks avoid violence, early pregnancy, and exploitation; and help them explore and access the support, resources, and opportunities necessary to be safe, grow strong, and make positive choices for their lives.