Money to meals; donations to Front Line Appreciation Group (FLAG) Metro Detroit reach $300,000 in less than six weeks
• Restaurants getting needed financial boost
• 30,000 meals delivered to hospitals in Southeast Michigan
• Group becomes largest FLAG chapter in nation
By: Front Line Appreciation Group (FLAG) Metro Detroit
"When we started, we didn't expect to reach these numbers this quickly," said Monica Toomey of Bloomfield Hills, one of the group's six cofounders. "We just wanted to help. It would be amazing to reach $500,000 for our local restaurants."
FLAG Metro Detroit, a nonprofit organization, was formed on March 23 by a group of six local women looking for a way to help during the coronavirus pandemic. In less than six weeks, it's become the largest of more than 100 other Front Line Appreciation Groups that have formed across the country.
"The generosity and support have been overwhelming,"
The numbers speak to the giving spirit throughout Southeast Michigan, an area that has been hard hit by the pandemic and the economic fallout:
· Donations: $300,000
· Meals: 30,000
· Hospitals: 40
· Facebook members: 23,000
But there is more to do. Restaurants are still struggling, hospital workers continue to work long hours.
"Their need is great and it's ongoing; so we'll keep going," said Toomey. "We're doing this for them; the more money that comes in the more meals that go out."
While donations are generally in the $10 to $20 range, several churches have come through in big ways with contributions totaling $35,000, equaling 5,000 meals.
· Christ Church Cranbrook in Bloomfield Hills raised $19,000 through a matching campaign with its congregation
· Kensington Church in Bloomfield Hills donated $11,000.
· Kirk in the Hills in Bloomfield Twp. donated $5,000.
The cost of a meal is about $7. On average restaurants are delivering 6,000 meals to 40 hospitals each week. Restaurants can sign up at flagmetrodetroit.org.
"We've built in economies of scale," said Toomey. "We're able to work with the restaurants to place large orders. They give us a good price on healthy, delicious meals while making the profit they need to keep their businesses going in these challenging times."