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Together Detroit: Companies feeding those in need

Griffin Claw, Little Caesars, Labatt and Brown-Forman provide meals

by Staff @DetroitRedWings /

One of the main ways individuals and companies have been giving back during the COVID-19 pandemic is through feeding those who are doing so much for others.

It isn't only the pandemic that has been disastrous in Michigan.

When two dams failed last month, severe flooding forced more than 10,000 people to evacuate their homes in the Midland, Mich. area.

Griffin Claw Brewing jumped aboard Bobcat Bonnie's psychedelic catering van along with Gordon Food Service to offer meals, treats and hand sanitizer to the residents there on May 29.

"We've really made a determined effort on giving back to our community throughout all of this," Kyle VanDeventer, Griffin Claw Brewing sales director, said in a statement. "Whether it was with our sanitizer production, teaming with FLAG in order to make and deliver boxed lunches for health systems or going up to Midland with Bobcat Bonnie's so that we can help with the storm relief. We knew real quick that the only way that we'd be able to get thru this epidemic was with the help of our community and once we realized our support system was as strong as it was we immediately started to reach out and see what we could do to help.

"We have an amazing group of hard-working individuals here -- seven days a week, 12-14 hours a day, working outside of your norm -- these were things that just started to happen and we clicked on all cylinders. I love what we have here, I love our community and I love that we could help as many people and organizations that we did."

Jeff Silverman, who owns three Little Caesars franchises in Macomb County, Mich., has always believed in giving back to the community.

During the pandemic, Silverman and his wife, Amanda, have continued that tradition, donating more than 1,000 pizzas to first responders and health care workers.

Tweet from @macombdaily: Owners of three Macomb County Little Caesars franchises donate pizzas to first-responders

"This is the Little Caesars way," Silverman told the Macomb Daily. "We need to be a staple in the community and give back to the community."

The Silvermans have delivered pizzas to Martha T. Berry Medical Center in Mount Clemens, the Macomb County Sheriff's Office, the Clinton Township Police Department, McLaren Macomb hospital and three fire stations in Fraser, Mount Clemens and Clinton Township.

Labatt USA, whose American headquarters are located in Buffalo, New York, went all in on a local specialty.

The brewery started an effort to deliver 100,000 chicken wings across the country, mostly in Western New York, but including Detroit.

"Labatt Blue Light created this program to thank front line workers and help struggling local restaurants that were closed in the wake of COVID-19," Mary Beth Popp, FIFCO USA's VP of Corporate and Brand Communications, said in a statement, "We chose 11 cities across the Northeast where our employees live and work. The people of Detroit have been loyal to Labatt for decades so it was important to our team to execute the program here. We're thankful to be able to support local restaurants and deliver chicken wings to our heroes on the front line!"

The company utilized 27 local bars and restaurants to deliver to hospitals, nursing homes, police departments and other essential workplaces.

Brown-Forman wanted to recognize first responders by giving them some nice, warm meals.

In addition to cooking at its Bourbon Street Café in its hometown of Louisville, Brown-Forman also offered carryout lunches to first responders.

Tweet from @WDRBNews: Brown-Forman preparing thousands of meals for Louisville first responders

"For 150 years here at Brown-Forman, giving back to the community has always been so important to us, Kristy Brown, director of corporate events and hospitality, said in a statement. "So, especially during this pandemic we wanted to find a way to just say thank you to our first responders for everything they're doing for us and sacrificing."

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