Michigan's Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Community Service Commission announced 10 winners of the 2020/2021 Governor's Service Awards. This award goes out to those who supported significant needs and made a difference in food distribution, health or supporting other community issues during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Governor Whitmer made the following statement about the winners:

“The 10 individuals receiving the Governor’s Service Awards this year helped strengthen our communities by feeding families, administering vaccines, supporting local businesses, mentoring young people, and so much more."

A Winner from West Michigan

One of those winners was West Michigan's Chef Jenna Arcidiacono. Chef Jenna, owner of Amore Trattoria Italiana, was handing out meals to those on the frontlines. She also provided free meals for many people who lost loved ones to COVID-19. Monthly you could find Chef Jenna giving away $1,000 tips to restaurant workers. You can see the video of one of those stops here...

Chef Jenna is no stranger to awards and being on TV

Last September, Chef Jenna appeared on "The Rachel Ray Show". Rachel was kicking off a new series called "BESTaurants" -- celebrating the best neighborhood restaurants throughout the U.S. Chef Jenna and Amore Trattoria Italiana was the first restaurant to be featured. Here is the video of that segment...

In January of 2021, Chef Jenna was named "Newsmaker of the Year" by the Grand Rapids Business Journal.

In 2020, Chef Jenna made national news when she was featured on Mike Rowe's Facebook show "Returning the Favor". On that segment, Mike Rowe surprised her with a $10,000 check to continue feeing frontline workers free of charge.

Here is that video...

As for the other nine winners of the Governor’s Service Award, they were...

  • Priscilla Bordayo of Lansing. She supported domestic and sexual assault survivors as numbers increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. Priscilla also mentored young women through her nonprofit organization.
  • Rebeka Islam of Sterling Heights. She serves as an advocate for Asian American Pacific Islander rights and resources, and the COVID-19 pandemic further fueled her fire to help her community.
  • Lisa Jahnke of Marquette. She helped lead the Masks for Marquette volunteer initiative to make and distribute protective gear for medical personnel, frontline workers and school children.
  • Phil Knight of Fenton. Phil is the Executive director of the Food Bank Council of Michigan, which pursued partnerships, funding and food, enabling FBCM to provide 47% more food than any time in their history.
  • Hugh Mahler of Birmingham. Hugh made a big impact at Forgotten Harvest —one of the nation’s largest food rescue organizations. He also aided food security efforts in southeast Michigan.
  • Bobby Mukkamala of Flint. He volunteered at test and vaccination sites and bought several 3D printers and made hundreds of face masks for those in need of the personal protective equipment.
  • Pat Munshaw of East Lansing. Pat is a retired 81-year-old registered nurse. He volunteered to help deliver COVID-19 vaccine shots.
  • Vivian Murray of Detroit. She came out of retirement to allow the nurses of Sinai Grace Hospital to take breaks. Vivian also mentored teenagers who served meals to healthcare workers
  • Delicia Pruitt of Bay City. She is the Medical Director of Saginaw County. Delicia informed the public with medical COVID-19 information and served on the Protect Michigan Commission and the Food Security Council.

Congratulations to all the winners!

 

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