Matching Funds Help Three Royal Oak Groups Fight Hunger
(City of Royal Oak, April 26, 2021)
Royal Oak, MI – In an online campaign, Blessings in a Backpack, the Open Hands Food Pantry, and the Salvation Army each raised enough money to qualify for a share of the $7,500 matching funds from the Royal Oak Civic Foundation (ROCF), generating a total of $19,500 to fight pandemic-driven hunger in the city.
“The pandemic has raised demand at the Open Hands pantry by 50% since last year,” said Beth Taylor of St. John’s Episcopal Church, which hosts Open Hands. “This campaign immediately put food into the homes of people who are out of work and living with daily hunger. Hunger is real in our community. We are all in this together.“
The campaign was planned to run from February 5 to March 1, but the foundation left the donation portal open until the end of March because donations kept coming in.
“The three charities had contributions from across the community including, businesses, houses of worship, and individuals” said ROCF Executive Director Julie Lyons Bricker. “That included a resident nine-year-old, who hosted an online yoga class fundraiser that brought in more than $750. It reinforces our philosophy that everyone can be a philanthropist.”
The $7,500 match funding came from a donation from Robertson Homes, which pledged $200 for each of the new homes sold at the Normandy Oaks development to the foundation’s general fund.
The foundation’s mission is “to improve the city’s health, safety, and cultural opportunities by inspiring the philanthropy of residents and business leaders to support a thriving, resilient community.”
While the trustees of the newly formed foundation are still formulating plans for fundraising and giving, they recognized hunger as an immediate need in the community and were able to act quickly to organize the impactful fundraiser, Lyons Bricker said.
For more information about the foundation, to donate to other initiatives, or to apply as a trustee candidate, please visit www.romi.gov/rocf.