Wayne County Sheriff Sgt. Diane McKee has been involved with International Brown Bag Lunches of Love over the last five years.
The concept was borne of a conversation McKee and her neighbor,
Diane Soulliere, had in 2010 about potential community projects for the youth in Soulliere’s Catechism class. The pair decided on a brown bag lunch for the local homeless shelter. The children packed nutritional lunches and included an uplifting note with a message of hope. The effort has grown from those few bag lunches to more than 20,000 lunches distributed in the last five years.
“It’s an amazing thing--feeding people is almost like feeding yourself, spiritually,” said Sgt. McKee. “We have a lot to be grateful for, so we just want to give back.”
Lunches of Love works closely with numerous charities including Feeding the Need Ministry in Macomb County, the Veterans Foundation, Cass Community Social Services and Detroit Rescue Ministries to name a few. Over half of their lunches are distributed in the Detroit metropolitan area. While the program requires plenty of hands-on effort, it also needs money to fund the food purchases or other program needs.
“We hold food fundraisers and sometime we spend our own money,” said McKee. At a recent event with the Boy Scouts of America, the BSA gathered the food items and Lunches of Love volunteers put the bags together and distributed them.
“Just to see the people, their faces and how it makes them feel is amazingly rewarding and for us it is an expression of our own gratitude,” said Sgt. McKee.
For more information on the Lunches of Love program check them out on Facebook at International Brown Bag Lunches of Love.