Greater Lansing Community Comes Together to Fight Hunger Amid Rising Food Insecurity in Mid-Michigan

Annual Empty Plate Event and Stamp Out Hunger food drive raise more than 1.1 million meals for mid-Michigan neighbors

LANSING, MI (May 23, 2024) — Nearly 100,000 neighbors in Greater Lansing Food Bank’s (GLFB) seven county mid-Michigan service area are experiencing food insecurity, according to the latest data released by Feeding America.

This data — which reflects a 22 percent increase compared to the previous year — is what Feeding America CEO Claire Babineaux-Fontenot has called “heartbreaking, but not surprising.” It affirms what GLFB and our network of more than 140 local community partners have seen and heard in our communities.

“We know factors like stubborn inflation and persistently rising food costs continue to make it harder for families to make ends meet, both here in mid-Michigan and nationwide,” said GLFB CEO Michelle Lantz. “But we also know the collective spirit of generosity in our community makes a real difference in the lives of our neighbors by helping GLFB and our partner network connect them with the food they need.”

Guests bid on silent auction items at the 2024 Empty Plate event, hosted May 2 at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center.

Amid the sobering reality of the state of hunger across the United States, the greater Lansing community’s generosity and tradition of supporting our neighbors shined through this month at GLFB’s 16th annual Empty Plate strolling dinner and auction on May 2 and through the National Association of Letter Carriers’ (NALC) annual Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive on May 11.

Returning to the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center on Michigan State University’s East Lansing campus, the 2024 Empty Plate event featured a strolling dinner from local area chefs, a silent auction with more than one hundred unique prizes and a commemorative plate hand-painted by local schoolchildren for each guest to take home.

“Empty Plate reminds guests who return year after year of how powerful fighting hunger can be when we do it together, surrounded by colleagues, family and friends,” said Lantz. “We extend our deep gratitude to each person who attended this year’s event as well as to our restaurant partners, silent auction donors, sponsors at all levels and title ‘Platter Sponsors’ Delta Dental and Jackson.”

The NALC’s Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive occurs annually on the second Saturday of May.

Adding to the momentum of Empty Plate’s fundraising efforts each year is the NALC Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive. Since 1993, Stamp Out Hunger has grown into the nation’s largest one-day food drive, helping fill the shelves of food banks, like GLFB, across the U.S. Participation is simple: All a neighbor has to do on food drive day is leave a bag of nonperishable food donations near their mailbox, and their letter carrier and local volunteers will do the rest.

Through the combined efforts of Empty Plate and Stamp Out Hunger, more than 1.1 million meals were raised this month for neighbors and families across Clare, Clinton, Eaton, Ingham, Isabella, Gratiot and Shiawassee Counties — a significant step toward GLFB’s goal of delivering more than 11 million meals to neighbors in need throughout 2024.

If you’re still hungry to help fight food insecurity in mid-Michigan, visit to learn more about volunteer opportunities or hosting a food or fund drive of your own.


Greater Lansing Food Bank (GLFB) has led mid-Michigan’s fight against hunger since 1981 to ensure families and neighbors in need have access to the nutritious food they need to support their health and well-being. GLFB’s 4,000 square mile, seven-county service area encompasses Clare, Clinton, Eaton, Gratiot, Ingham, Isabella and Shiawassee Counties.