Gleaners adds dozens of food distribution sites this summer

Originally posted by The Detroit Free Press

Starting next week, children in metro Detroit can get free meals through a summer food program run by Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan, which is adding 66 distribution sites.

Families can get fresh groceries through drive-thrus, pick up prepared meals once a week, and grab breakfast and lunch from mobile delivery trucks five days a week. 

“Summer has always been a difficult time for families and children facing hunger, and last summer we saw some of the greatest community need we have ever seen in Southeast Michigan,” Gerry Brisson, president and CEO of Gleaners, said in a news release. “While there are new signs for hope, far too many children and families in our community will not be hunger free this summer without our help.”

Nearly 600,000 people in Michigan said they sometimes or often did not have enough food to eat in the past week, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Household Pulse survey from May 12-24. 

Gleaners’ summer food program will provide free meals to children 18 years old and younger  and people up to 26 years old who are enrolled in an educational program for the mentally or physically disabled that’s recognized by a state or local public educational agency, according to the news release. 

The program includes mobile delivery sites, where meals are expected to be delivered to families at 24 sites, mostly across Detroit and Inkster. Families can get prepared breakfasts and lunches five days a week. Parents or siblings can also pick up meals from the trucks for children in the household and take home food for the weekend. 

The summer food distribution sites will run through Aug. 27. 

To find a food distribution site, Gleaners recommends texting the word “Food” to 877-877 to start a dialogue to find the closest three sites in a ZIP code. To find more sites in a community, people can also call the United Way’s dial 211 or 844-875-9211.