This holiday season, local organizations are teaming up to package and deliver over 5,000 Christmas meals to families in need.

Volunteers at Forgotten Harvest

(credit: CBS 62)

Today at Forgotten Harvest, Metro Detroit’s only food rescue organization, members of the local community volunteered their time, packaging holiday meals to be delivered on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Together with the Shine Light in Darkness Program from local synagogue Shaarey Zedek in Southfield – and PIC Food Safety – Forgotten Harvest is working to make this Christmas a little more “merry” for the one in five Metro Detroiters facing hunger.

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(credit: CBS 62)

(credit: CBS 62)

Marc Berke, Senior Director of Major Gifts for Forgotten Harvest, tells us today, volunteers are packaging Christmas dinners of chicken, potatoes, dinner rolls, and vegetables – along with gift bags of bottled water, granola bars, and pies for dessert. And a special treat? Students from Park Maitlind Elementary in Florida designed some quotable cards to tie on to the gift bags – talk about holiday cheer!

Gift Cards

(credit: CBS 62)

PIC Food Safety, one of today’s project partners, was on-site managing today’s event. From estimating the amount of food needed to the number of volunteers, and from scheduling shifts to allocating how many meals are loaded onto each vehicle – they lend their expertise to ensure events like these run smoothly from start to finish.

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Bottled Water for Gift Bags

(credit: CBS 62)

The Shine Light in Darkness Program has been providing Christmas meals to Detroiters in need since 1992. Chairman Stephen Korn of Northville, a member of Shaarey Zedek’s Men’s Club, says the goal in their first year was to package and deliver 500 meals. Today, just over 20 years later, that number is at 5,500 – and now includes gift bags and gift cards.

This year marks the fourth year of Forgotten Harvest’s involvement in this holiday tradition, along with PIC Food Safety and the holiday cards from Sandy Bonus’ students from Park Maitlind Elementary School.

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Granola Bars for Gift Bags

(credit: CBS 62)

Three different agencies in Detroit will receive meals for Christmas Eve, and tomorrow, deliveries will be made to individuals homes and senior centers…just in time for Christmas dinner!