Greta Van Fleet have stepped up in a big way this past week, choosing five organizations as beneficiaries of financial donations as the coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the economy and puts more people in a state of need than ever before.

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The band chose organizations that would help both on global and local levels, trying to do as much as they could and hopefully influence others to help out where they can.

The band started their week of giving on Monday (April 6), donating to MusiCares, who have been directing their efforts to their Covid-19 Relief Fund. Hoping to help out fellow artists in the music community during this time of uncertainty, the group stated, "Thank you for the compassion you embody and making possible the freedom to create. Let us all carry this onward for many generations to come." Learn more about MusiCares here.

On Tuesday (April 7), the group set their sights on helping Heart to Heart International, an organization that provides critical resources to people in need around the world. "Thank you for embracing strength in our global community," wrote the band. "Only together can we create a harmonious human culture." Learn more about Heart to Heart International here.

Wednesday (April 8) saw the band do their part to help out the national Feeding America organization. The group praised the organization for providing access to food outside of the classroom for children that rely on school meals. "Thank you for aiding in a cause that works to nurture a sustainable collective future, especially in times of uncertainty," stated the group, with a link to find out more info on Feeding America here.

Thursday (April 9) found the band pitching in to help out the staff of Nashville's The East Room. Their message stated, "Such spaces are vital for artistic expression and growth. We appreciate the wholeheartedness put into these institutions and thank you for recognizing their foundational importance in the music community." To learn more about how you can chip in, head here.

The final donation came today (April 10), with Greta Van Fleet contributing to their home state Michigan Food Bank Council. We had a chance to speak with Dr. Philip Knight, the Executive Director of the Michigan Food Bank Council, on how exactly the band's donation would be put to use.

“It came just at the right time because we were just tying the bow on a Quarantine Box program that would be delivered to senior citizens that are most vulnerable during this crisis,” Knight said. The Quarantine Box he speaks of is a high nutritional USDA standard box catered to senior citizen nutritional needs that will provide approximately 22 meals.

“The donation and investment from Greta Van Fleet will really take this Quarantine Box the last mile. We can build the boxes, we can put ‘em on a truck and we can get ‘em to a region, but we needed the ability to hire someone to move those boxes from the distribution point right to the senior citizens’ home and that’s how this donation will be used,” explained Knight.

The Executive Director revealed he was quite familiar with the rise of Greta Van Fleet, explaining, “Frankenmuth is probably a good 30 minutes north of where I live, so you can’t go to Frankenmuth and not know Greta Van Fleet .. We know ‘em and we appreciate them.”

As for the effect that Covid-19 has had on food banks, Knight says it magnifies the inequities in society, and those who were struggling before the pandemic remain the hardest hit. "You put that toxic stress [of wondering where food is coming from] inside of a pandemic, and I don’t know how these folks are holding up. So for us to be able to take hunger off the table for them inside of Covid-19 has an even more powerful and dramatic effect than it would normally," says Knight.

He cautions that the biggest challenge at present is the increased pressure on retail grocery chains as restaurants have closed during the shelter in place order: "We understand that and we get it, but it still makes it hard to have access to the food that we need to support the people who look to us as their grocery store.” Knight says the key we all need to be aware of during this time of need is to make sure to buy what our families need, but not overbuy in order so that everyone can get theirs.

“I think that it’s really important for folks to feel a part of this," says the executive director. "A donation to the Food Bank Council or to your local food bank is really about virtue signaling. This is good work, this is important work and we need to support this work. It’s important to all of us."

To learn more about how you can support the Michigan Food Bank Council, check here.

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