Today we’re catching up with Kimberly Buffington the founder of Eden Gives back in 2018. Kimberly introduced us to the food security issues impacting communities in Southeast Michigan. Let’s check in with her and see how her efforts have grown.
Kimberly: We realized very, very quickly after COVID hit that we were going to have to scale rapidly. Up to that point, we had scaled up to about 400 families a week that we were providing a box of food for that was largely produce. And in about six weeks, we added 1,000 more families, I had people coming through the line to pick up a box of food. And they’re saying to us, “we’ve never needed assistance before.” Many of them lost their jobs. And even if it was a temporary loss, it was still a loss. And they needed support in order to get through in order to put food on the table for their families.
Mitch: It’s always amazing to me that we live, in 2021, in a major metropolitan city, and yet the hunger numbers would astound people if they really knew how many people were hungry still in Detroit.
Kimberly: In the city, things like transportation become a huge problem. And an inability also for some of the markets to carry produce. And those types of issues prevent people from being able to purchase healthy, nutritious food on a daily basis for their regular diet.
Mitch: Unlike a lot of charities, you sprung up on your toes and got into even bigger action during COVID. So thank you for that and thanks for everything you’re continuing to do.
Kimberly: Thanks so much.