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The Consumers Energy Foundation has announced a $500,000 contribution to two statewide organizations to help enhance critical services for the most vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic.

That includes children, vulnerable seniors, and those who may need assistance, the company said in a press release.

“For many, the coronavirus pandemic is more than just a disruption to daily life. Families with kids who are food insecure, the elderly and those who live paycheck to paycheck are especially vulnerable. With schools and businesses closed and many grocery store shelves left bare, local nonprofits are playing a critical role in helping those in need. Consumers Energy is privileged to provide additional support to these key organizations that will support numerous vital services to help those most affected,” said Brandon Hofmeister, president of the Consumers Energy Foundation.

The Food Bank Council of Michigan and the Michigan Association of United Ways will each receive $250,000.

The Food Bank Council of Michigan will distribute its share to its regional food bank network to fill gaps where schools are unable to provide food for children, Consumers Energy said.

“Nothing of significance ever happens alone. Times like these mean we not only should but must come together,” said Phil Knight, executive director of the Food Bank Council of Michigan. “A friend is someone who walks in when the rest of the world walks out. Consumers Energy walked in big time.”

The Michigan Association of United Ways will share its funding with the United Way organizations in Consumers Energy service areas that are deploying emergency response activities in local communities, Consumers Energy said.

“Michigan families know that in times of crisis and uncertainty, United Way will be there to support them, and this crisis is no different. United Ways across Michigan are mobilizing financial and human capital, leveraging public-private partnerships, and working in unison with Michigan 2-1-1 to provide vital information and resources to support ALICE families – those who are working, but struggling to make ends meet, and protect the most vulnerable in our communities. Now and always, United Ways are doing what we do best – coordinating community partners, responding to emerging needs, and adapting our role to best serve all Michigan residents,” said Michael Larson, president and CEO of Michigan Association of United Ways.

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