Jeff Gordon teams with MIS and Quicken Loans for a month-long food drive

Jeff Gordon at Gleaners

The speeds are sure to be fast and the action non-stop on June 16 when the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series rolls into Michigan International Speedway for the Quicken Loans 400.

But on Thursday the excitement will be high for a different reason at Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan. Gleaners welcomes 70 volunteers from Quicken Loans and MIS to help kick off its virtual food drive program that allows Michiganders to contribute with a simple click of the mouse. The food drive will begin on Thursday, May 16 and end at midnight on Thursday, June 13.

“We take pride in giving back to the community and supporting those who may not be as fortunate,” MIS President Roger Curtis said. “Today will be special to join with Quicken Loans to volunteer at Gleaners and make a difference. Then to have Jeff Gordon in town to help us start a month-long virtual food drive and AARP make a matching contribution added to the excitement.”

Gordon, driver of the No. 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet, will make a pit stop to help promote the Quicken Loans 400. But more importantly, he is in town to help wave the green flag on Gleaner’s virtual food drive to help feed the hungry in Southeastern Michigan.

"So much has been done to help the nearly nine million older Americans battling hunger, but so much more still needs to be done," said Gordon. “Thanks to Michigan International Speedway, this virtual food drive is another way to assist in that effort.”

The virtual food drive makes it easy for fans to join in the challenge and feed the hungry in Michigan. To donate, simply go to www.mispeedway.com/fooddrive and select the amount you would like to contribute.

Quicken Loans has been at the forefront to help revitalize downtown Detroit. In fact, Quicken Loans team members gave more than 10,000 hours of their time to volunteer with Gleaners food bank, and several other charities in 2012 alone.

MIS and Quicken Loans are two great Michigan-based companies that have taken leveraged the race weekend to make an impact that lasts the entire year. It was a natural connection to team up with Gordon and his support of Drive to End Hunger to help feed those in need in Southeast Michigan.

Additionally, AARP has agreed to match the first $10,000 donated through this virtual food drive – multiplying the impact of each individual donation.

While the economy shows signs of improvement, many of our most vulnerable still need help with the basics. Health care, loss or lack of a partner and unemployment are the top three reasons for hunger, making certain populations, namely seniors, particularly vulnerable.

It’s a slippery slope. When seniors skip meals to pay medical bills, they run the risk of needing more medical attention, as hungry seniors are more likely to be hospitalized and to have chronic conditions such as heart disease and diabetes than their well-nourished peers.

The number of older adults is projected to increase by 36% over the next decade and continue to rise in the following decade. In 2030 there will be 72.1 million older adults, almost twice as many as in 2008. Additionally, the senior population is becoming increasingly diverse. These changing demographics will have profound impacts on the demand for social services.

Founded in 1977, Gleaners is one of the oldest and largest food banks in the country. Today it distributes more than 46 million pounds of emergency food annually, equivalent to 100,000 meals per day. Headquartered in Detroit, Gleaners operates a total of five distribution centers in Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Livingston and Monroe counties, which provide food to 558 partner soup kitchens, food pantries, shelters and other agencies throughout southeastern Michigan. Of every dollar donated, Gleaners uses 93 cents for food and food programs. One dollar provides three meals for a hungry neighbor. Learn more at www.gcfb.org.

© 2014 Michigan International Speedway

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