Hunger Free in the D campaign

- The Celani Family Foundation, a nonprofit organization created by community philanthropists Vicki and Tom Celani to help support and provide resources to local families in need, is partnering with WJR 760-AM/Paul W. Smith Show again this holiday season for the 2nd Annual community-wide fundraising initiative entitled, Hunger Free In The D.

First launched in 2014, Hunger Free In The D is a two-week campaign to raise the funds needed to provide up to 500,000 holiday meals, distributed by Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan (Gleaners), Capuchin Soup Kitchen (Capuchin) and the latest partner to the initiative, Forgotten Harvest, to individuals and families struggling to meet basic needs this holiday season.

Beginning today and running through Nov. 23, 2015, the Celani Family Foundation will match, dollar-for-dollar (up to $150,000), every donation made by the public to the three charities, with the goal of reaching a $300,000 total donation before Thanksgiving. 

On Monday, Nov. 23, 2015, the campaign will culminate with a live, private remote broadcast of WJR-AM's Paul W. Smith Show (6-9 a.m.) at the Detroit Athletic Club, where representatives from all of the organizations will receive an on-air donation of the much-needed funds. Interested donors can contribute to the cause at www.HungerFreeInTheD.com.

"Coming off the success of our first 'Hunger Free In the D' fundraising campaign last holiday season, our family vowed to make this an annual campaign and strongly felt we needed to exceed our goals from last year," said Celani, founder of the family's namesake foundation and CEO of Luna Entertainment. "We're so fortunate to be in a position to help others, and we hope to encourage as many people as possible to join us in the effort to alleviate Hunger for those in need in Metro Detroit.

For more than 37 years, Gleaners has been feeding hungry people and nourishing communities.  Last year, Gleaners distributed 34 million pounds of emergency food to more than 510 partner soup kitchens, shelters and pantries in Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Livingston and Monroe counties.

The Capuchin Soup Kitchen was founded in 1929 and provides food, clothing and human development programs to people throughout the metro Detroit area. In addition to preparing and serving up to 2,000 meals a day, the organization distributes household items, offers substance abuse treatment services, provides children's tutoring and art therapy sessions, and operates Earthworks Urban Farm and On the Rise Bakery.

Oak Park, Michigan-based Forgotten Harvest was formed in 1990 to fight two problems: hunger and waste. Forgotten Harvest "rescued" over 41 million pounds of food last year by collecting surplus prepared and perishable food from over 800 locations, including grocery stores, fruit and vegetable markets, restaurants, caterers, dairies, farmers, wholesale food distributors and other Health Department-approved sources.

For more information on Hunger Free In The D, or to contribute, visit www.HungerFreeInTheD.com.

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