EASTPOINTE — Providing fresh produce, canned goods and meat to members of the community on a monthly basis, East Detroit Public Schools partners with Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan for a monthly School Food Mobile Pantry at Kelly Middle School.
The next mobile pantry distribution is scheduled for 9 a.m. Jan. 26 at the school, 24701 Kelly Road.
According to Gleaners’ website, www.gcfb.org, the organization’s mission is “to provide households with access to sufficient, nutritious food and related resources. We accomplish this through collaboration, efficient operations, education and innovative solutions to achieve a hunger-free community in southeast Michigan.”
In an email to the Eastsider, EDPS Marketing and Communications Coordinator Francesca Lucido stated, “At our December distribution, Gleaners graciously donated over 1,900 pounds of food to friends and families of East Detroit Public Schools.”
Lucido also stated what the partnership means for the EDPS community.
“We’re ever grateful for our partnership with Gleaners Community Food Bank. This partnership enables us, as a district, to meet a nonacademic need of our students and to more fully assist friends and families of East Detroit Public Schools.”
Gleaners Vice President of Programs Rachelle Bonelli explained her role in helping with EDPS.
“The School Food Mobile program at EDPS is one of 78 school-based mobiles that our program staff coordinate. This is one program of many that the program staff facilitate at schools and other community sites. I seek new partnerships and support for our many programs to build capacity and improve programming,” Bonelli stated in an email to the Eastsider.
People can donate to Gleaners in more than one way, according to Bonelli.
“We ask folks to donate dollars, food or time. We ask folks to donate protein-rich items, such as canned fish and chicken, peanut butter, canned and dried beans, canned vegetables (low sodium, if possible) and canned fruit (in juice or light syrup, if possible), oatmeal or non-sugary cereal, pasta and rice. People can also volunteer,” stated Bonelli.
Bonelli stated the criteria needed to receive food from the pantry.
“The schools invite the folks based on their criteria for need. There
are four schools that invite families to the distribution,” she said
Offering mobile pantries at EDPS since 2012, Bonelli explained the scope of the program.
“We serve about 450,000 folks through our pantry network and mobile distributions in southeastern Michigan. These donations help families, seniors and low-income working folks in our neighborhoods. We partner on the School Food Mobile Pantry program to provide access to nutritious food for families. We provide about 17 (percent) of fresh produce and 13 (percent) of a mix of lean protein and grain-based foods to 100 families monthly. EDPS understands that kids need nutritious food to help them stay healthy so that they can learn and grow. We are thrilled that (EDPS is) partnering with us so that so much healthy food will reach families with young children,” stated Bonelli.