Port Huron Lodge 343 awarded the Elks National Foundation 2021-22 Beacon Grant of $3,500.00.
Port Huron Elks Lodge 343 recently received confirmation of being awarded the ENF Beacon Grant. Thanks to the efforts of our ENF Committee Chair Maureen O’Boyle and committee members Martin Prevost, ER Gerry Goodwin and PER Scott R. Harris, as this makes the 2nd ENF Grant awarded to our Lodge this year to go along with our recent Freedom Grant awarded in April 2021.
A special thank you to the original Queen of Hearts committee Co-Chairs PER Robert J. Fritch, PER Steven M. Peters and James E. Feher II who committed $1,500.00 for the next three years towards the Lodge 343 ENF per capita quota along with monetary assistance from Club 343 Committee Co-Chairs PER Gregory C. and Sue Hudy. This along with donations from individual Lodge 343 members have allowed us to apply for these much-needed assistance grants.
Our focus is to help in addressing the hunger issues in our local community by assisting with donation from the Beacon grant funds with a virtual food drive and distribution in collaboration with Gleaners Community Food Bank Inc. of Southeastern Michigan. Gleaners can use their buying power and relationship with food distributors to purchase food products well below retail price. In addition, depending on Gleaners distribution plans due to COVID, we plan to host a future food giveaway from our Lodge 343 with the thought that “Many Hands make Light Work” using Membership participation. The virtual food drive enables our members and community to safely participate in this much needed event. For anyone who wishes to donate, its Fast and Easy, as donors may use any major credit card for payment on a secure site and receive an e-receipt confirming their tax-deductible donation immediately.
This important community need, is backed by these community statistics while knowing that more than 720,000 people in southeast Michigan live in poverty. One in six people in Michigan will need emergency food this year, with 34% of households served by Michigan food banks and still they have at least one employed adult. 62% of people served by food banks live in suburban or rural areas, with 38% of the people Gleaners serves being children and 7% are senior citizens. Sadly, child poverty has more than doubled in the past decade. One in four children are now at risk of hunger, with 20% of our local community living in poverty, which is actually lower than the state average. 75% of our youth report lower than adequate consumption of fruits and vegetables. Gleaners believes that "child" and "hunger" are two words that should never go together.
With our Memberships assistance, monetary contribution and community support, we can help Gleaners combat this in our local community. Finally, our goal for this project in addition to the awarded $3,500.00 from the ENF Beacon grant, is hoping to match that sum in donations through the virtual food drive from our Lodge 343 membership and local community citizens for a total donation to Gleaners of $7,000.00, proving once again that Elks Care, Elks Share.