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MIFFS sponsors Detroit Pistons game for Michigan Harvest Gathering

By: Emily Buckham
Publication: Michigan Food and Farming Systems
Published: 11/20/2006

East Lansing, Mich. – Michigan Food & Farming Systems – MIFFS is helping out hungry Michigan families this Thanksgiving by sponsoring Michigan Harvest Gathering’s “Hoops for the Harvest.” During the Detroit Pistons game on November 24, this Friday, MIFFS will contribute $100 per point to the Michigan Harvest Gathering “Hoops for the Harvest” campaign every time that Rip Hamilton scores.

The full text of the press release from the Michigan Harvest Gathering is below or available on the Detroit Pistons Web site at http://www.nba.com/pistons/news/michigan_harvest_gathering_061024.html.

To learn more about MIFFS and its programs, visit www.miffs.org, email miffs@msu.edu or call (517) 432-0712.

Founded in 1998, MIFFS is a statewide membership organization (501c3) whose purpose is to promote diverse efforts that foster and sustain food and farming systems that improve economic, ecological and social well-being. MIFFS has been effective at establishing successful partnerships among producers, markets and institutions that have created more profitable, environmentally friendly food systems in Michigan.

The organization’s vision is based on the premise that agricultural productivity, environmental stewardship and profitability reinforce each other for the benefit of Michigan’s rural and urban communities.


Detroit Pistons All-Star Rip Hamilton Lends Big Assist to Michigan Harvest Gathering

Auburn Hills, MI — Palace Sports & Entertainment CEO Tom Wilson and Mrs. Karen Davidson, co-chairs of the 16th annual Michigan Harvest Gathering (MHG), held a “half-time” report at the Palace to announce the progress of this year’s campaign. With a little more than a month remaining, the campaign is about one-third of its way to reaching its goal of raising $350,000 and 500,000 pounds of food to help feed Michigan’s hungry individuals and families.

“It is surprising and alarming to know that 1 in 10 people in Michigan will need to use a food bank this year, which is unacceptable in a state and nation as abundant as ours,” said Wilson. “When we visited the Gleaners Community Food Bank in Detroit and learned of their issues, we immediately got the entire Palace Sports & Entertainment family involved.”

Davidson, wife of Pistons owner Bill Davidson, introduced a new program at the Monday event: Hoops for the Harvest. With the help of Detroit Pistons guard Richard “Rip” Hamilton, the Hoops for the Harvest program hopes to raise more than $30,000 for the MHG.

The program is simple: for every point that Rip scores during the month of November, sponsoring companies will contribute $100 per point to the MHG. Rip, who lends his image and celebrity to the 2006 MHG, will play 15 games in November. Last season he averaged just over 20 points per game. Businesses are being asked to sponsor one game during the month of November and contribute based upon Rip’s scoring.

Kara Braxton, representing her teammates and coaches from the 2006 WNBA Champion Detroit Shock, was the first to take up the challenge. Braxton announced the Shock’s sponsorship of the first Pistons game of the season on November 1 against the Milwaukee Bucks and presented the MHG with a check that will be filled in after the game.

Michigan Food and Farming Systems (MIFFS) was the second sponsor to step up and MIFFS representative Marty Gerencer also presented Davidson with a blank check, to be filled in after the November 24 game when the Pistons play the Charlotte Bobcats.

Since 1991, MHG has raised nearly $5 million and gathered more than 7 million pounds of food. Judge Bill Schuette, the original founder of MHG, along with his wife Cynthia, stated that: since 1991, the Michigan Harvest Gathering has been a way to offer hope and help to people in need. We are so excited to see new corporations and organizations join in the effort. We have a generous and caring state which is evidenced by our new honorary chairs and donors this year.”

The Michigan Harvest Gathering campaign is the centerpiece of the Food Bank Council of Michigan’s public effort to end hunger in the state. As of October 20, $115,550 and 35,000 pounds have been raised. Donations come from corporations, foundations, local businesses, farmers and individuals. The donations received during MHG have become a major source of food and funds for Michigan’s regional food banks. Campaign funds raised are used to purchase food and transport donated product into and around all 83 counties in Michigan.

Jane Marshall, Executive Director of the Food Bank Council of Michigan explained that this year, 1 in 10 people in Michigan will need to use a food bank because they don’t have resources to get enough to eat. When people learn this, they are shocked and want to know what they can do to help their neighbors. We are always in need of food, funds and volunteers. Most people want to be a champion against hunger because they know it is wrong for children, seniors and families in our communities to go to bed hungry.”

For the past sixteen years, statewide and local corporations and organizations have joined the fight against hunger through the Michigan Harvest Gathering. Again this year, groups like the Outdoor Advertising Association of Michigan and the Michigan Association of Broadcasters have offered their help to publicize Michigan Harvest Gathering across the state.

Individuals can also be involved by donating food, money and their time. For more information about Michigan Harvest Gathering, visit www.feedmichigan.org or call the Food Bank Council of Michigan at 800-552-GIVE (552-4483).

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