We had the absolute pleasure to volunteer with Hand2Hand by packing lunches for students across West Michigan for the upcoming school year. These lunch kits provide food and hope for over 8,000 West Michigan students that Hand2Hand serves during the weekend. Hand2Hand operates differently than many food programs because the food is placed directly into the hands of the students who need it.
Over 80,000 kids in West Michigan receive free and reduced lunch at school five days a week. But what about the weekend? That’s where Hand2Hand comes in. Hand2Hand exists to eliminate that 68-hour weekend gap so that every kid has an opportunity to thrive without the worries of where they will get their next meal and letting kids have time just to be kids.
How does Hand2Hand operate?
A backpack of food is placed discreetly into a student's locker for them to take home. To protect the students' privacy, the volunteers who distribute the food never know the names of the kids they are helping, only which locker number to place the food.
“Hand2Hand makes a difference in the lives of our students daily. It gives them peace of mind knowing their basic needs are being met."
-An elementary teacher
Hand2Hand currently serves students ages 3-18 in 37 school districts and 233 schools across West Michigan.
As a member of the local community, we wanted to focus our efforts in our own backyard of West Michigan. Tommy’s team members were able to pack 3,000 lunch kits in a single day! Many of our team members have young children and understand the importance of organizations like Hand2Hand that help children thrive. The enthusiasm and excitement from Team Tommy’s (as well as the competitive spirit of who can pack their group’s quota the fastest) was a highlight of the day. Everyone was thrilled to participate and to be a part of an organization like Tommy’s that encourages these acts of service as part of the work day.
At Tommy’s, we strive to enrich lives, add value, and serve communities. We preach that to all our locations nationwide and challenge ourselves to follow through on our committment. This makes partnering with an organization like Hand2Hand such an easy choice for us. They are enriching lives, adding value, and serving the West Michigan community with everything they do. We are so grateful for Hand2Hand and everything they offer our community, and we are happy that we could help serve the students in West Michigan.
“My favorite part of working with Hand2Hand was knowing that we were able to make a difference in the lives of over 3,000 students in our community. As someone who grew up receiving free lunches at school,I know the importance of organizations like these.”
– Tommy’s Express Employee
Want to get involved?
Help to eliminate childhood weekend hunger in your community! Visit h2hkids.org and join the movement on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter @h2hfeedkids.