Story by Lauren Martin via patch.com.

Thirty-five Allstate agency owners and financial specialists from across Michigan recently came together to secure a $35,000 Allstate Foundation Helping Hands® grant to benefit Blessings in a Backpack. The grant will support the nonprofit organization’s mission to provide students at risk for food insecurity with a backpack containing six nutritious meals to feed them over the weekend.

The agency owners and financial specialists each earned $1,000 for Blessings in a Backpack by packing backpacks with food and snacks to fight childhood hunger during events in August. The backpacks were distributed to students and families through Blessings in a Backpack chapters in Grand Ledge, Huron and Lake Orion. Blessings in a Backpack will use the $35,000 grant to further its work in the local community.

The participating Allstate agency owners are among thousands of agency owners and financial specialists around the country working to strengthen communities by volunteering their time to support the causes they care about most.

“As small business owners and community leaders, Allstate agency owners and financial specialists see firsthand the opportunities and challenges facing the communities they serve,” said Gary Heslinga, Allstate Territory Sales Leader for Michigan. “Giving back is core to who we are, which is why we’re proud to volunteer and raise funds to improve the lives of people across Michigan.”

Blessings in a Backpack is one of thousands of organizations this year to receive Allstate Foundation Helping Hands grants secured by agency owners and financial specialists on behalf of the nonprofits where they volunteer. The grants support organizations addressing domestic violence, youth empowerment, disaster preparedness, hunger and other causes.

For a list of participating Allstate agency owners and financial specialists, click here.