Weekend Survival Kits

Historical Timeline

70 Children Served

The origin of the food kit program dates back to 2009. Local Rotary Groups seized an opportunity to provide delivery service of individual food kits to school children in the Haslett and Okemos areas delivering 70 kits. The effort proved successful, and a member of the Haslett/Okemos Rotary, Dave Muhleck, took it upon himself to expand the program to include the Lansing schools. As the program grew, the participating service clubs recognized the need to raise funds to purchase food from local stores and ultimately the Greater Lansing Food Bank.

125 Children Served

In 2012, Jeff Gorsline who owns Evergreen Wealth Management would establish a nonprofit organization to raise funds for the food kits and coordinate volunteer activities. The non-profit was named, Many Hands. Coordination of this effort of fundraising was in conjunction with East Lansing Rotarian John Saltzgaber. The fund raising was successful and the program would continue to grow each year. Packing and staging the kits for delivery to local schools happened through the generosity of Okemos Community Church. OCC would continue to provide the space to pack the kits for ten years.

1,750 Children Served

In 2017, Many Hands changed its name to Weekend Survival Kits.

3,000 Children Served

WSK continued to expand to new schools and districts. In 2018, WSK also piloted a program in inner city Detroit serving 200-500 children. 

1,700 Children Served

In 2020, when the global pandemic hit, it changed the way that kits were distributed since children were no longer in school. WSK worked with each schools’ food service director to coordinate with their on-site meal pick-up. At this time, many other federally funded programs were available to families that struggle with food insecurity, WSK numbers decreased due to decreased demand. Also at this time, OCC would begin to undergo some building renovations and would no longer be the packing and staging site of the food kits. At that time, 2|42 Church in Okemos agreed to open their  community space for the kit packing and staging of delivery. A second location in Lansing at Hill Center was also used in conjunction with Sodexo Food Services for kit delivery.

2,300 Children Served

The after effects of the pandemic are still a factor, but as children returned to school, the number of kits needed increased.

2,500 Children Served

WSK communicates with and coordinates participation from a pool of over 1000
volunteers and continues to grow with the support of donors and volunteers. There are two packing sessions per month during the school, year and an average of 150 volunteers pack and deliver kits each month. WSK plans to work with the local food bank to increase reach across Ingham County and surrounding communities.