Mona Shand, a Genoa Township resident and the Democratic candidate for the 42nd District State Representative seat, has launched an initiative to help support vulnerable mothers in the Livingston County area.
“Moms Supporting Moms: A Formula for Success,” encourages community members to purchase and donate unopened, unused cans of infant formula at several partnering businesses. At the end of May, the cans of formula will be collected and given to Gleaners Community Food Bank, where they will be made available to those in need.
Shand, a journalist and community leader, said she wanted to find a meaningful way to celebrate Mother’s Day, which is May 13.
“I’m not willing to wait until I get elected to make a difference for local families,” Shand said. “There are so many policies that our state can and should put in place that could truly support mothers and children, including instituting paid family and sick leave, increasing child care subsidies, preserving the Earned Income Tax Credit, and maintaining the Healthy Michigan Medicaid expansion.
“There are also things we can do as a community to reach out to those among us who need our help right now,” she said.
According to Gleaners, more than 670,000 people in Southeast Michigan will face hunger this year, many of them families with young children. Shand said that while the challenges of motherhood are numerous, hunger simply shouldn’t be one of them.
“When my kids were born, I had every possible advantage — a loving husband with a stable job, a roof over our head, and a strong and supportive network of family and friends — and it was still the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life,” she said. “Being able to now help other mothers, whether it’s as a community member or a future legislator, is more than a gift — it’s my responsibility.”
Shand has long been known for community involvement, currently serving on the board of LACASA and as a member of the Livingston County Community Alliance, and a former board member of the American Red Cross Livingston County Chapter. For the past four years she has co-produced “The Mommologues,” an evening of live storytelling in honor of Mother’s Day with all proceeds going to LACASA. She also helps coordinate charitable activities for Club Wolverine Brighton Swim Team and Brighton School of Ballet’s annual production of The Nutcracker.
The infant formula donation drive will run through the end of May. Donation locations include the following businesses: Brighton School of Ballet, Hush Intimate Apparel, Cooper & Binkley Jewelers, Homespun Market, Bink & Babs Boutique, Your Choice Direct Care, Vic and Bob’s Party Store, La Marsa Brighton, Proper Cup coffee shop, Sushi Zen, Shear Charm Salon, the Hamburg Fitness Center, and Pinckney Chrysler.
Any other business interested in serving as a donation site can contact Shand at email@example.com.