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Perdue Farms Providing Meals (and Hope) at SAY Play

As part of a commitment to improve the quality of life in its communities, Perdue Farms delivered a little hope to youth ages 8-18 served at the SAY Detroit Play Center at Lipke Park this afternoon. The outreach is part of the company’s Delivering Hope to Our Neighbors® initiative focused on improving quality of life and building strong communities where our associates live and work, and beyond.

Associates from the company’s Alexander & Hornung specialty meats brand operation in nearby St. Clair Shores provided 125 students with backpacks filled with school supplies. Additionally, the Franklin P. and Arthur W. Perdue Foundation, the charitable giving arm of Perdue Farms, provided a $10,000 gift to support the after-school programming as well as the company delivered 4,000 pounds of nutritious chicken for its meal program. The in-kind donation of poultry is shared with Gleaners Community Food Bank, a frequent collaborator with SAY Detroit.

WXYZ was on hand to report on this special gift.

“We know Perdue Farms strives to strengthen communities by focusing efforts on several areas that align with our goals at SAY Play like improving education and fighting hunger and poverty,” said Mitch Albom, SAY Detroit founder and best-selling author and journalist. “We’re grateful to have such a caring new corporate neighbor extend a helping hand with their wonderful generosity.

“The Perdue grant will help us reach our goals by supporting our efforts to increase the number of low-income students we serve by growing our population; by helping to create new academic, computer and arts programming; and by helping us to provide real-world skills and job training initiatives to the community.”

Gary Malenke, senior vice president of the Perdue Premium Meats Company pork operations, praised the work of SAY Detroit.

“After-school programming can be a real game changer for our youth,” Malenke said. “We learned of SAY Detroit’s wonderful track record of impacting young lives and are honored to provide funds and resources to support their Play Center at Lipke Park so they can continue to deliver the kinds of programs for our youth that really make a difference.”

As SAY Detroit Executive Director Richard Kelley, explains, “Compared to other communities, our students face obstacles that are mountains to climb. Their childhood experiences include poverty and food insecurity, exposure to violence, high levels of parental stress, and socioeconomic adversity. SAY Detroit Play Center’s supportive programming seeks to help members become active, productive citizens for the betterment of themselves, their families, and their community. We’re proud to have Perdue as a partner in that journey.”

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