FLINT, Michigan—The effects of Covid-19 are requiring preemptive methods that are mandating schools, businesses, restaurants, libraries, and organizations across the state close for social distancing efforts.
When the news hit last Thursday, March 13 that Gov. Whitmer declared a State of Emergency and subsequently, Michigan schools would close until April 5, the news wasn't quite sitting right with Deria Brown, owner of Glam Boutique.
“I didn’t get any sleep that night, wondering how the kids were going to eat,” said Brown. She took to social media the following morning with a solution, and it has been met with overwhelming support.
Every day this week until April 3, Brown along with volunteers will offer a Daily Drive Thru initiative that gives free lunch with sandwiches, chips, fruit, juice boxes, and candy with activity books to parents and children that need them.
“Donations came in rapidly and we were able to move forward without any barriers,” said Brown. Brown has received donations from “tons” of individuals and Flint businesses including the Flint City Bucks, the Ferris Wheel, and the Flint Board of Education.
The support is ongoing, right down to her staff who in the midst of mandated business and restaurant closings, are receiving their last checks until at least March 30.
“What excited me most about that, was when I was sharing the news with our employees, they looked me in the eye and said, ‘How can I help?’ and so, with their last check for a while they made donations to this effort. I was excited about that, to know that good people would see our company through a crisis.”
Brown hopes that the lunch packages will do more than feed children but also support their learning through the few weeks of school shut downs that leave a lot of unanswered questions and concerns.
“March being National Reading Month, would they retain the knowledge? Would they be reading? Would they be in front of the computer or television until school resumes? That was mainly the gap we wanted to fill, not just the food, but also some learning activities.”
Brown’s Daily Drive Thru is located outside of Glam Boutique on 620 S. Saginaw from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. To learn more, donate, or to volunteer contact Deria Brown at (810)-344-4489, email at [email protected].