Encore June 2020

Page 38


Adam Strong-Morse, Jodi Michaels & Sally Hadden

Brian Powers

Organizers, Feed the Fight Kalamazoo


hen Sally Hadden, an associate professor of history at Western Michigan University, saw a story about Feed the Fight — an effort to help Washington, D.C., restaurants during COVID-19 by buying meals from them to provide to front-line health care workers in that area — she knew a similar effort might be needed in Kalamazoo. After talking to that group’s organizers about how it got started, she reached out to Jodi Michaels, executive director of 38 | ENCORE JUNE 2020

This composite image shows Feed the Fight Kalamazoo organizers, from left, Adam Strong-Morse, Jodi Michaels and Sally Hadden. To maintain social distancing, each individual was shot separately and a composite of those photos was created by photographer Brian K. Powers.

Colleagues International. Hadden knew that, through her work with CI, Michaels might have some ideas for implementing Feed the Fight here. CI is a nonprofit that engages in citizen diplomacy by bringing leaders from around the globe to Kalamazoo to engage with peers in their fields. “Sally knew I know a bit about what's going on around town,” Michaels says, “and was originally looking to find out if anybody had started something like this locally. I

knew that many restaurants had been very generous donating food, and I made a few calls and found that no one had really organized around those efforts yet.” At the same time, Michaels became hooked on the idea. With no visitors coming through CI, she was looking for ways for the organization to be able to continue to contribute to the community. “I was like, ‘You caught me at a great time,’” she says with a laugh.

(Continued on page 37)