UAW members rely on pantry during strike, in need of donations

For striking UAW members living off of $500 a week, the UAW food pantry has been coming in handy and is currently in need of some supplies. 

"That $500 a week is maybe a DTE Energy bill," said Ebony Kennedy, typically employed at Ford's Wayne facility. "So definitely, we need donations."

As community service chair, Kennedy has dedicated her time during the strike to operating the UAW pantry – which provides essential items like food, hygiene products, baby supplies, clothing, and more. Before striking, UAW members gathered essential items in the pantry and donated them to other charities. 

Now, many members are realizing that they, themselves, are in need of the resources.

"You come in whenever you can, get what you need off the table," Kennedy said.

Currently, the pantry is in need of laundry detergent, cold and flu medicine, pet food, and infant formula of the yellow and orange label.


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"There’s been so many people that donated and still continue to donate. They’re not even on our line, they don’t even know mentally what we’re going through," said Holly Calerwood, a striking Ford worker and UAW pantry volunteer. "I’m so grateful and humbled to be a part of this community that we are in right now."

As temperatures continue to drop, another UAW member on strike, Pete Hatkow, donated wood to keep fellow strikers warm. In addition to being a paint shop worker, Hatkow owns a tree service on the side.

"We’re getting into the colder days," he said. "We're trying to keep everybody warm that's out on the line. As much as we can bring, we’re bringing."

While monetary donations are not accepted, gift cards are.

The pantry is located inside UAW Local 900 in Wayne, and is open 24 hours a day for striking UAW members.

"I definitely hope this is over soon, however, this is definitely needed," Kennedy said. "So I’m going to hold the line for as long as we need to hold the line for, until we get what’s fair for us to be able to go back to work."