Viewing vintage vehicles while sampling some of our area's tastiest new cuisine strikes me as one of the best ways to enjoy Detroit's legendary Dream Cruise, that and the chance to support one of my favorite charities is what brings us back year after year to Forgotten Harvest's Cruisin' to Drive out Hunger party.
I remember Forgotten Harvest's humble beginning in 1990 as a group tackling two tough problems: ending hunger and rescuing potentially wasted food in the Detroit area. The group operated with a few panel vans and volunteers, and I remember donating to their first drive to purchase a refrigerated truck in the early 90s. Today Forgotten Harvest fields a fleet of "Harvey the Harvester" trucks that cruise around Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties to deliver food to nearly 300 agencies like emergency food panties, soup kitchens, senior centers and others who feed the hungry and make pick-ups from businesses and other groups that donate their excess food to help feed folks.
The Woodward Dream Cruise had similarly humble beginnings. It started as an idea to raise some funds for a local soccer field in Ferndale, Michigan in 1995, and the event quickly morphed into the world's largest one-day automotive event (although locals will tell you it actually spills through to most of the summer) in the world. Today it draws something like 1.5 million people to watch as 40,000 classic cars travel to the cruise from around the world each year.
The Forgotten Harvest party is a lot of fun (see previous article here about it in 2012, 2011, 2010 with images from previous years), but we never lose sight of the fact that it is a major component of the charity's ongoing effort that averages rescuing more than 3.4 million pounds of food each month to help address food insecurity in the area. That amounts to an equivalent of 40.9 million meals each year.
It's also impressive that Forgotten Harvest earns a four-star rating (nine years in a row) from Charity Navigator, which helps potential donors by publishing current information about rated charity's financials, accountability and transparency.
Dream Cruise fans should also check out the new Woodward Dream Cruise app for the iPhone or iPad. You can keep up with the latest Cruise-related events, check out the event's Facebook page or check out a massive gallery of classic car images with the app. Best of all, it's free!
© Dominique King 2016 All rights reserved