A $25,000 grant to the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan will help feed families and children in need and honor the legacy of the Williamson family and their commitment to the Flint area.
The gift is the first donation granted from the Williamson Foundation, which was launched in 2019 in honor of Don and Patsy Lou Williamson and family. Don Williamson, a businessman and former Mayor of Flint, passed away in April 2019. The foundation will focus its philanthropic efforts on various high impact community initiatives.
“Dad’s vision was always to make Flint great and give back to the community,” said Scott Williamson of the Williamson Foundation. “Mom and Dad have always supported the community, and we want to carry on that legacy and help where we can in Genesee and Shiawassee County’s.”
Representatives from the Williamson Foundation toured the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan in February and learned about the number of people served and the many programs the Food Bank leads in the community.
“We were searching for organizations to support that have a big impact in the community, and felt the Food Bank was a good fit for us,” Williamson said. “After the tour, we could really see how donations to the Food Bank go a long way to help our community. We were impressed by the entire operation.”
Of particular interest were the many ways the Food Bank impacts youth in the community. The Food Bank’s culinary team serves approximately 5 million prepared and take-home meals to head start, after school, school pantry, and summer feeding program sites per year, and the Backpack Program provides take-home meals to students at nearly 100 school sites throughout 22 counties.
“We like the idea of helping children,” Williamson said. “The Backpack Program, head start meals, and all of the other ways the Food Bank helps take care of kids, is the reason we are getting involved.”
The gift was announced during the Fox Feeding Frenzy Radiothon on 103.9 on February 28. The annual radiothon helps the Food Bank kick off its March Against Hunger campaign. The $25,000 gift significantly helps the Food Bank reach its March Against Hunger goal of providing 600,000 meals by raising $100,000 during the campaign. “We are honored that the Williamson Foundation chose the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan to receive its first gift,” said Kara Ross, President and CEO of the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan. “With support from donors, we provide nearly 30 million pounds of nutritious food each year to neighbors in need throughout 22 counties. We would not be able to carry out this mission without the support of passionate partners like the Williamson Foundation.”