Help YogaLove Detroit and Gleaners Fight Local Childhood Hunger!

By: Toni Cunningham | April 7, 2013
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Whether you’re an experienced yogi or a beginner, you can help a child escape poverty simply by holding the Cobra pose.

How is this possible? By participating in YogaLove, a yoga celebration that aims to help defeat childhood hunger in Detroit. The all-day yoga event will be held on Sunday, April 28 at Gleaners Community Food Bank, 2131 Beaufait St., Detroit, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For a $55 donation, you’ll be able to partake in an assortment of yoga styles. The fee includes lunch and beverages, and there will be a silent auction and various vendors selling goods throughout the day.

“This is a great place for those who want to experience yoga, because there will be so many various styles and types of yoga to experience,” Laura Tropea, co-founder of YogaLove Detroit and co-creator of the event, said.

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Most importantly, all proceeds from the event will benefit the Gleaners Mobile Food Program. The organization hopes to raise $22,000 through this event in order to fully fund a school-based mobile food pantry for a Detroit school.

According to Gleaners, approximately one in five individuals faces hunger in Michigan alone. By completely funding a food pantry, Gleaners will provide 40 pounds of food once a month for an entire year to 150 hungry and deserving families.

“Childhood hunger is at epidemic levels in Detroit and Southeast Michigan,” Tropea said. “Children have virtually no control over whether or not there is food in their home. They are being robbed of a basic human necessity and if they cannot have access to food, there is evidence that their school, social and physical growth is severely stunted. At the very least, every child in Michigan should have access to healthy, life sustaining food.”

Children who qualify for their school’s free or reduced price lunch program will be eligible to participate in the benefits of the food pantry, free of charge. Gleaners is responsible for signing up families to participate, and finding volunteers to help distribute the food.

The pantries themselves include non-perishable items, fresh fruits and vegetables, and protein-packed foods.

Thus far, food pantries that have been implemented in Detroit schools have gotten rave reviews. Currently, Gleaners pays for the program and there is no cost to the schools themselves, or to the benefitting families.

As for the YogaLove event, participating studios include local favorites like Divine Yoga, Yoga Shelter, Center for Yoga, Yoga for Life Center and Pop-Up Yoga. Be sure to stick around until the end, because Detroit Flyhouse will perform acro yoga at 4:30 p.m.

Keep in mind, one of these food pantries can assist nearly 2,000 families each year, so it doesn’t matter whether you’re a pro at yoga or not, as long as you participate. If you are unable to attend but would still like to donate, you can send a check to Gleaner’s Community Food Bank, c/o First Recovery Group, LLC, 26899 Northwestern Hwy., Suite 250, Southfield, Michigan 48033 or email with questions.

To purchase tickets to the event, please visit

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