One Fundraiser, Hundreds of Thousands Served: The Salvation Army’s 34th Annual Bed & Bread Club Radiothon Goes Virtual

Feb 4, 2021

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (Feb. 3, 2021)The Salvation Army of Metro Detroit is continuing to fight hunger and homelessness in metro Detroit with its 34th annual Bed & Bread Club Radiothon presented by Ford Motor Company Fund. While in years past, the Bed & Bread Club Radiothon has had an in-person component, this year’s 24-hour fundraiser will be held exclusively on News/Talk 760 WJR from 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 25 through 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 26.

The Radiothon has a $1.6 million fundraising goal to continue serving nearly 1.3 million meals and providing nearly 111,000 nights of shelter through The Salvation Army’s Bed & Bread program throughout the year.

“There is no better time for our community to join together in support of our neighbors in need. As the primary source of funding for the Bed & Bread program, the Radiothon helps feed the hungry and shelter those experiencing homelessness. The program also offers hope for a better tomorrow,” said Major Tim Meyer, general secretary, metro Detroit area commander and regional chief operating officer for The Salvation Army Eastern Michigan Division. “The Salvation Army is grateful for the generosity of the Ford Motor Company Fund, WJR and all our supporters who make it possible to help to those in need across Detroit.”

The Ford Fund, the automaker’s philanthropic arm, is returning as the Bed & Bread Club Radiothon presenting sponsor for a fifth year to help ensure The Salvation Army can meet the needs of those it serves across the region.

“Ford Fund is proud to once again support our neighbors in need through the Salvation Army Bed & Bread Club Radiothon,” said Ford Motor Company Fund President Mary Culler. “During this pandemic, our community has seen an increased need for food distribution programs. We thank the Salvation Army for their efforts to expand the Bed & Bread Club route to reach more people.”

The Bed & Bread Club Radiothon has been broadcasting live on WJR since 2011. In its 33-year history, the fundraiser has raised more than $37.8 million.

“For 10 years – and counting – WJR is proud to help The Salvation Army feed and shelter those in need in our community,” said Steve Finateri, market manager of News/Talk 760 WJR. “We understand the need is greater than ever in metro Detroit and have seen firsthand how our listeners’ donations have made a real impact in the lives of so many.”

The Radiothon will kick off with Bed & Bread success stories and donation information to those tuning in overnight before switching to the live broadcast at 6 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 26. The lineup will feature:

  • Paul W. Smith: 6 – 10 a.m.

  • Frank Beckmann and Steve Courtney: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

  • The Mitch Albom Show: 2 – 4 p.m.

  • Guy Gordon with Dick Purtan and friends: 4 – 7 p.m.

Jim Vella, Salvation Army Metro Detroit and National Advisory Board member and longtime Bed & Bread Club supporter, will return for the fifth straight year as the Radiothon champion and join the WJR hosts throughout the day.

Local and national celebrities and musicians, along with civic and business leaders will join the conversation throughout the Radiothon, encouraging listeners to make a difference for the hungry and homeless in metro Detroit.

Listeners can donate $120 to feed five people for nearly a month. Those who donate $240 will provide meals to 10 people for nearly a month and receive an embroidered, limited edition Bed & Bread Club Radiothon blanket for supporting The Salvation Army’s Bed & Bread program. For a $255 donation, individuals can donate an extra blanket to a Bed & Bread friend in need to help keep them warm during the brutal, Michigan winter.

Individuals can contribute by:

While other Bed & Bread programs do exist throughout the country, The Salvation Army of Metro Detroit’s Bed & Bread program is unique in that it also serves people via trucks that are mobile soup kitchens.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bed & Bread trucks have hosted individuals, families and children, some who have never received a meal from The Salvation Army. To address this increased need, the Bed & Bread trucks were modified with donations from last year’s Radiothon to enable contactless food delivery through retrofitted serving windows.

The Bed & Bread program also added the new ‘Encore’ initiative, supported by Ford Motor Company. Once a month, Bed & Bread trucks make special trips through Detroit to serve additional communities in need. The Salvation Army Harbor Light community partners support Bed & Bread Encore by providing unique expertise and additional resources distributed from the trucks.

Annually, the Bed & Bread program serves 18,720 gallons of soup; 124,000 loaves of bread; 206,000 pounds of deli meat; 182,000 hot dogs; and 1.1 million pieces of fruit and snacks. The Salvation Army’s Bed & Bread trucks travel 180 miles, making 57 stops 365 days a year serving meals within the city of Detroit, alternating between sandwiches and hot meals.

For more information about The Salvation Army’s Bed & Bread Club Radiothon, please visit www.salmich.org/radiothon.

About The Salvation Army Bed & Bread Program
The Salvation Army of Metro Detroit’s Bed & Bread program serves more than 3,600 meals each day to men, women and children who would otherwise go without. That’s nearly 1.3 million meals every year. In addition, the Bed & Bread program provides nearly 111,000 nights of shelter annually.

The Bed & Bread program is unique in that it serves many people via mobile soup kitchens. The Bed & Bread trucks are on the streets of Detroit 365 days a year making designated stops throughout the day.

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