Linda and Mike Kozminski

Hunger is here, but so is the solution.  Mike and Linda Kozminski have been part of that solution since 2000 when they became active donors of Second Harvest Community Food Bank.  The couple donates funds to the organization for special food distribution programs in both Andrew and Buchanan Counties.  Linda has also been part of the solution by serving on Second Harvest’s Board of Directors, acting as Chair for two terms. 

“I decided to support Second Harvest because I was a recipient of a food bank at one point in my life,” says Linda.  “I know that anyone can become food insecure at any time in their life.”

Linda grew up in an upper-middle class neighborhood, Birmingham, Michigan. It was a very affluent community. Linda’s father was an automotive engineer and was laid off, which made a big impact on her family.   “We were in a very good school system at the time, and my parents didn’t want to move us and disrupt our lives,” Linda says.  “We had to make a choice between food and other living costs. We just had enough money to pay our mortgage. We needed help, but we knew we would get through that. “

Unlike his wife, Mike was never food insecure as a child. He grew up on a dairy farm in Michigan, which allowed his family to have enough food resources. However, he saw people all around him that made him aware of food insecurity.

The Kozminski’s have been married for 26 years.  “We are not high school sweethearts, but we might as well be,” says Linda.  “We were right out of high school when we met.”  Linda is a psychotherapist and Mike is a urologist.  They both received their graduate degrees from the University of Michigan.  The Kozminski’s have four sons:  Michael, Christopher, David and Andy.  Their oldest son, Micheal, is married and has a two year old son, Rowen.

“Hunger-relief is a passion of our entire family,” says Mike.  “All of our children are involved in raising awareness around hunger through efforts at their universities. This makes me very proud. We believe in leading by example and parenting by example. That makes me feel good this strategy has worked for our children and hopefully our grandchildren.”

Mike and Linda are both active in the community.  Mike is a member of the Savannah school board and they are both active at Our Lady of Guadalupe.  Linda served on the Red Cross board and is an active Red Cross volunteer.  Linda also does volunteer work for the Noyes Home and is one of the founding members of Show-Me Women Who Care. 

“We see our volunteer commitments as one big service with the same goal to empower people in our community,” says Linda.  “I have built my life around the welfare of children and that is important to me.  Mike has built his life around health.  Both of these things have drawn us to Second Harvest.   We are big on making sure that people know hunger exists in our communities. “

Linda served on the Second Harvest Board of Directors during a pivotal time in Second Harvest’s history.  “Being part of the board during the transition of Harvest House, Second Harvest’s on-site food pantry, to a community food center model was very important,” says Linda.  The transition should be completed by the spring of 2012.  Linda and Mike also served as spokesmen for Second Harvest’s Truckloads of Hope campaign for two years.

Mike and Linda strive to be a part of the solution to end hunger.  “The biggest thing I can do for our community is to see myself as part of awareness and education,” says Linda.  “This makes the biggest impact. Serving on the board and donating financially are important, but the day-to-day awareness and mindfulness is where the greatest impact can be made. I am always trying to think about what I can be doing. We all need to be active advocates to be the real solution. “