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The Salvation Army's Bed & Bread trucks are on the streets of Detroit 365 days a year, serving more than 5,000 meals every day.

On those white trucks, which serve as mobile soup kitchens, you'll occasionally find Brian Crawford, giving his time handing out hot chocolate, warm soup and conversation to residents in need.

"We take so much for granted, having shelter and warmth," the Farmington resident says.

Crawford, a vice president at the Farbman Group, says giving back to the community has become part of the work culture at the company.

For the last six years, Crawford has played in the annual Salvation Army/Detroit Red Wings Alumni Association charity hockey game, which raises money for the Bed & Bread program that serves more than 1.8 million meals annually to men, women and children in Metro Detroit's most depressed areas.

Farbman is donating $10,000 toward the Salvation Army's Bed & Bread program this year. Overall, the full-service real estate company has donated $60,000 to the program and engages in philanthropy work through its division Farbman Cares.

In addition to feeding people year-round, the program provides shelter to nearly 600 homeless individuals each night, more than 212,000 nights of shelter annually

Program case workers help clients rebuild their lives by helping them receive critical social services through the Salvation Army's housing and rehabilitation treatment programs, Salvation Army spokeswoman Andrea Kenski said.

Riding the truck, handing out food and drinks, is tremendously rewarding, Crawford says.

"Just the sheer joy on the people's faces, you can feel their heartfelt gratitude when you can provide something," he said.

On Feb. 27, The Salvation Army's 28th annual Bed & Bread Club Radiothon begins at 6 a.m. The radiothon is the largest single-market, single-day radio fundraiser in the country.

Since its launch in 1988, it has raised nearly $30 million to help feed and shelter Metro Detroiters in need.

The event will be broadcast live from Emagine Theatre in Royal Oak on News/Talk 760 WJR.

Donations to the Bed & Bread Club can be made by calling 877-SAL-MICH or visiting www.salmich.org.

JChambers@detroitnews.com

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