Gleaners is a vital link between available food and those who need it most. Local and national producers have surplus food that may otherwise go to waste for lack of a way to safely and efficiently bring it to market. Human service agencies face tight budgets and increasing demand for services. Our expertise and facilities bring these valuable resources together to help ease the problem of hunger.
Gleaners collects, warehouses, repacks and distributes many millions of pounds of food for more than 550 local partners. These agencies pick up food from Gleaners in convenient amounts for use in serving meals, preparing food packages, and stocking food pantries.
Member agencies count on Gleaners as a reliable source of dry food like pasta and cereal, all manner of canned food, fresh or frozen meats and produce, even sundries like paper towels and cleaning supplies. The combination of food resources, Gleaners and its member agencies create remarkable results: over 40 million meals last year for hungry people of southeastern Michigan.
Gleaners has developed efficient, reliable methods for handling a tremendous volume of all kinds of food (see how Gleaners collects and distributes food to our hungry neighbors). Five distribution centers bring food closer to those in need, saving member agencies time and money that they can use in providing food for our hungry neighbors.
Our main warehouse and distribution center in Detroit has a total of 92,000 square feet of space that accommodates 3 million pounds of food (more than a month's supply). Its freezers and coolers cover 16,450 square feet.
A strong delivery system responds to regular and emergency needs with a fleet of trucks and drivers in service every day. Our trucking capacity ranges from vans to refrigerated heavy-duty trucks to large rigs that can transport up to 40,000 pounds of food per trip. Each year, the Gleaners fleet travels thousands of miles hauling donated food from many sources to our warehouses. Computer-generated map routing is used to speed deliveries and save resources.
The food is off-loaded in the distribution centers with machinery that can handle the pallet-sized loads. Bar code scanners and computerized inventory systems track the boxes as they are organized and stored. With just-in-time inventory control, a great volume of goods can be managed to best serve the needs of member agencies.
Once the shipments are organized and sorted, they are often divided into units sized for the convenient use of member agencies (few ever need a full pallet of spaghetti sauce!). A portion of the food is organized into Gleaners Pantry Pacs. These are boxes of pantry staples that are shelf stable and provide well-balanced meals. The boxes are conveniently sized for a family and are packed by volunteers.
Our partners are the final, vital link in the network. Gleaners provides food to more than 550 partners from the very small to the very large. Some operate soup kitchens or food pantries. Others include shelters, human services and nonprofit organizations that serve meals or distribute food packages. Food is also made available to organizations that serve disaster relief sites.
Food pantries and meal services are at the front lines of an ever-increasing demand. Our combined efforts have developed a robust and reliable network that provides nutritious food to our hungry neighbors in southeast Michigan.
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