Forgotten Harvest CEO to receive award for serving those in need

"It is gratifying fulfilling and to know this is the community I grew up in, where I was born to, continue with this amazing team to contribute what they need during the times they need it the most," said Kirk Mayes.

It is a labor of love to Mayes, the Forgotten Harvest CEO, but he admits the work to relieve hunger in southeastern Michigan doesn’t stop.

"Once we got through the pandemic, we started to see the need through rising costs for multiple reasons," he said. "So this fundraiser allows us not only to continue to raise money but also bring people together and celebrate the success we’ve had."

Mayes is talking about the Women's Harvest Lunch –  this will be the first time Forgotten Harvest has been able to hold one of their largest and most popular fundraisers since 2019.

The money raised supports the 100-acre farm in Fenton which produces 800,000 pounds of fresh fruit and vegetables every year.

"And yes, the dollars people send to us, insures we keep trucks on road and be where we need to be in order to address need right now," he said.

Donations are always needed, and so are the 15,000 volunteers who work tirelessly inside the nonprofit’s new 78,000-square-foot distribution center in Oak Park.

"That I am able to do something, I am thankful that it makes a difference in other people's lives and in our lives," said Joyce Stephens, a volunteer from the Word of Faith Church.

"Forgotten Harvest has always been a great organization to support, and so we often come out here and support them," said Rick Czaja, GM Cares volunteer.

Mayes, is the man behind the mission of Forgotten Harvest, fueling the fight against hunger.

Described as a talented community leader who cares about the people he serves, the dedicated CEO is one of this year’s recipients of the Eleanor Josaitis Unsung Hero Award – a woman who also dedicated her life to fighting poverty and racism.

"I am getting recognized behind the name of Eleanor Josaitis as the backdrop for this whole thing," he said. "And considering everything she has done for our community and represented, it is a complete honor."

For more information on Forgotten Harvest, find it HERE.

Forgotten Harvest CEO Kirk Mayes

Forgotten Harvest CEO Kirk Mayes