Closing the Meal Gap for Michigan Families & Inspiring Community Support: DTE Energy Awards $150,000 Grant to Gleaners

Childhood hunger is a real and serious problem in southeast Michigan. DTE Energy Foundation is taking a stand for children and their families by supporting Gleaners’ programs that provide nourishing food to underserved communities across the region.

According to Feeding America, fifteen percent of children in southeast Michigan are food insecure. This means 146,390 children might not receive the nutritious food they need to thrive at home, at school and with their peers. No child should have to face the stress of hunger. Studies show that when a child has the healthy balanced meals they deserve, they are healthier and more active, perform better in the classroom and are more likely to graduate. 

Gleaners is honored to have DTE Energy Foundation support our programs that reach children, their families and the larger community:

Closing the Meal Gap for Families Through School Food Mobiles:
Nearly 47 percent of students throughout our service region are eligible for free and reduced-price school meals. On the weekend, the kids and their families might be going without food. To help feed these families in need, Gleaners hosts monthly mobile food pantries at 96 school sites throughout southeast Michigan. Each distribution event serves an average of 100 families with 30 pounds of nutritious emergency food, including fresh produce, whole grains, lean proteins and milk. Gleaners also provides nutrition education, including recipes and cooking demos at distribution events. 

DTE Energy’s grant will go to support our distribution in River Rouge and a new distribution in Romulus for one year. With their support, Gleaners will distribute a targeted 59,000 meals to 2,400 families!

Providing Milk to Children in Need:
Gleaners has been working to provide fresh milk for every family at each of our School Food Mobile distribution sites. Milk provides high-quality protein and key nutrients to help children grow up healthy, including calcium, vitamin D and potassium. Milk is the most requested item by the families Gleaners serves, yet it is rarely donated. With DTE Energy Foundation’s support, Gleaners can provide fresh milk at 17 sites that will reach 1,800 families and 35,000 families a month.

Inspiring Community Support to End Childhood Hunger:
DTE Energy Foundation helps Gleaners raise awareness for childhood hunger through our annual Women’s Power Breakfast fundraiser. This event brings female leaders from across all industries together in support of Gleaners’ programs that serve more than 210,000 children each year.  The proceeds from this event support our BackPack and School Food Mobile Pantry programs, while the event inspires hundreds of people in our community to join in the fight to end childhood hunger. Thanks to DTE Energy Foundation for supporting the 2019 and 2020 events.