2021 Food Fight Campaign Results

Throughout the month of May we held our annual friendly but fierce competition – that’s right – our annual Food Fight!

This once-a-year fundraising campaign splits the Lowell Area School District by M/21 / Fulton Street into the North Team and South Team. The campaign helps stock the food pantry, and raises funds to support all of the programs at FROM (we have more than a dozen!). Teams collect 1 point for each dollar or food item donated to FROM.

The team with the most points at the end is crowned the winner.

Together the teams raised more than 137,800 points this year – the most ever!

Generous matching sponsors helped provide a $31,750 match base that matched every financial gift until the match was completed.

We were blown away by the kindness of our community; the match was fulfilled before we were halfway through the fundraiser!

We celebrate the South Team for winning the 2021 Food Fight and tieing the teams for total overall wins to 6-6.

We are so thankful for each and every one of you who participated in Food Fight 2021. Because of you, we were able to touch the lives of families right here in our community.

Families like one of our food pantry participants who recently shared the impact the food pantry made in the lives of them and their family.

“When my husband lost his job we had to utilize the food pantry because we couldn’t afford food and was denied financial assistance through the federal government,” FROM participant shared. “Without the generosity of FROM my kids may have went hungry.”

Thank you to all our donors, including our Matching Sponsors (listed below) and Head Coach business spsonsors: Dery Physical Therapy Serivces, Chimera Design, McDonald’s, Metric Manufacturing, Timpson Transport, Canfield Plumbing & Heating, Doughtery Farms, Ada Bible Church and Lowell Area Schools.

Leaving a Lasting Legacy

Late last year Flat River Outreach Ministries (FROM) lost a dear friend – Donna Jean Ford.

The Lion’s football fan was an accountant and a lifelong resident of Lowell. She grew up on a farm and her parents cared about their community. Her father, a carpenter, was always fixing things for others.

“They’ve always had a giving spirit,” Kim Kropf, Donna Jean’s cousin said about the Ford family. “They might not have had the money, but they had the gift to give.”

Donna Jean carried that giving spirit throughout her life. She was involved in organizations she was passionate about including Pink Arrow, Clark Retirement, Lowell Area Arts Council, and FROM. The avid reader spent many years volunteering at the book department at Treasure’s Thrift Shop.

Kim shared Donna Jean’s ranch house held a library filled with books, many of them coming from a book club that mailed her books monthly. They sent her so many books in fact, Kim says, “they eventually sent her a letter saying they had no more books to send her.”

In total, Donna Jean volunteered more than 1,380 hours with FROM. Diane LaWarre, Donna Jean’s next door neighbor of nearly 30 years and FROM volunteer said that Donna Jean continued volunteering even after she had injuries that forced her to use a walker, and would put books on her walker to move them around.

“She was passionate about helping other people,” Diane said. Kim agreed saying Donna Jean loved that Lowell had such a great resource with the thrift shop, and that it was focused on people helping people.

“She loved how everybody could come together when there was a need to come together,” Kim said about Donna Jean’s love for the community.

The long-time volunteer was also a long-time donor to FROM, often giving to support the food pantry.

“She just didn’t want people to go hungry,” Kim said. “That was a big deal to her.”

Donna Jean’s life touched so much many both here at FROM and throughout the Greater Lowell Community. She generously gave FROM an estate gift which will help touch the lives of so many.


One Dozen Eggs at a Time

Amy Herbruck has passed by the FROM headquarters countless times. Last spring, she decided to reach out to FROM and learn more about what we do.

Amy, the Marketing and Community Outreach Manager at Herbruck’s Poultry Ranch, connected with Kelly Glas, our Healthy Foods Program Coordinator.

Herbruck’s Poultry Ranch, the largest egg producer in Michigan, has been partnering with FROM ever since.

“It just felt right,” Amy said about the partnership with FROM. “(FROM is) helping people and making them feel good while you’re helping them.”

Herbruck’s Poultry Ranch provides enough eggs each month to ensure each household that comes to our Food Pantry can have a dozen eggs.

“To have our shelves continually stocked with fresh, good quality eggs is a goal that we have been trying to achieve for many years,” Kelly said. “Thanks to the partnership with Herbruck’s we can now provide this source of protein to many community members in need. This partnership also allows us to direct our money elsewhere in the pantry.”

Amy agreed saying that eggs are one of the cheapest and cleanest proteins that families can use to cook with.

“We’re really proud of the work (FROM is) doing,” Amy said. To date, Herbruck’s has provided more than 20,000 individual eggs (more than 1,800 dozen eggs).