Gleaners helps kids that spend spring break hungry, taking donations

Image 1 of 3

For some students, vacation or snow days from school isn't a cause for celebration - because they know there isn't any food at home.

"Food is a sign of love and if you're a child who doesn't have that, imagine that emptiness in your soul when you go home after school and there's no food in the cupboard," said Diane Golzynski, Department of Education.

When you think of it that way, hunger doesn't just leave your stomach empty - but your soul, too. For Golzynski, who is the director of health and nutrition services for the state's Department of Education, it's very personal.  

Her own father began and ended his life with hunger.  He grew up with not enough food.  Jerry Lentner was 69 when he passed away in 2012 because of health complications.

"He lost the ability to swallow and so he knew what that feeling of hunger would be it, even though it had been 60 years, he preferred to not fight and not live any longer, because he just couldn't stand the thought of having to experience hunger again," she said.

Golzynski depends on Gleaners, not for her own family, but as the director of health and nutrition services, Gleaners is a godsend. 

"If we did not have the community partners like Gleaners Community Food Bank, there is no way we would ever make an amazing future for the kids in the state of Michigan," she said.

To illustrate how hard, it is for some kids, think about this:  When you hear of snow days, or spring break or weekends, you probably think kids are celebrating. If they're hungry, they're not.  

"Some kids literally cry at the thought of snow days," she said. "I've heard stories of teachers telling students, 'looking forward to not seeing you tomorrow because there is a storm coming in' and some kids just sit at their desks and cry because they know for them they will be spending the day without any food and knowing that feeling of hunger all day."

For Diane, she feels lucky to have grown up with food on the table.  But thinking of her father when he was a boy, hungry, with no relief in sight, she works to make sure no other child ever goes through his pain.  
You can help. 

Tuesday is a double your donation day: Call 1-855-315-FOOD to donate or go online to