Gleaners Community Food Bank Receives $264,000 from the Vera and Joseph Dresner Foundation

The Vera and Joseph Dresner Foundation (Dresner Foundation) has awarded Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan with two grants totaling $264,000.

The first grant, awarded on March 23 2021, provides Gleaners with $96,000 to cover the direct food costs associated with food distribution at the southwest Ford Resource and Engagement Center (FREC) through the existing Mercado Client-Choice Pantry and the Mercado Fresh Market Pantry programs. Funds from this grant will support the food provided through two different models at the Food Hub:

  • Client-Choice Pantry: Provides nutritious and culturally appropriate food to families residing in the area around the Southwest FREC location. Eligible families and seniors schedule individual appointment times at Client-Choice Pantry to receive approximately 150 pounds of food. This pantry also provides approximately 50 pounds of emergency food items to non-client families who are in immediate need of food assistance.
  • Fresh Market Pantry: A weekly additional distribution of fresh produce and dairy, available without appointment and during convenient evening hours. Fresh Market Pantry is open to all members of the public who are eligible for food assistance, including Mercado clients. After launching in June 2020, Fresh Market Pantry at the Mercado serves an average of 275 households every week, providing approximately 50 pounds of fresh healthy foods, including fruits, vegetables, milk, cheese and eggs.

On June 15, 2021, the Dresner Foundation granted Gleaners $168,000 to continue purchasing and distributing quarantine boxes to food-insecure veterans, in partnership with American Legion locations in Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb counties. Each quarantine box contains 35 pounds of shelf-stable food items that can be easily paired together to make nutritious wholesome meals, such as spaghetti and tomato sauce, and rice and beans. Since the start of the pandemic, Gleaners has served more than 15,000 cumulative veteran households through its emergency food distribution efforts.

“We thank the Vera and Joseph Dresner Foundation for their ongoing support of Gleaners’ food distribution programs,” said Stacy Averill, Vice President of Community Giving and Public Relations at Gleaners. “As food insecurity remains high in in southeast Michigan due to the pandemic crisis, this generous gift enables Gleaners to provide healthy, nutritious food to our neighbors in need. We are grateful to the Dresner Foundation for bringing our mission to life and enabling us to best serve our community.”

About the Vera and Joseph Dresner Foundation

The Vera and Joseph Dresner Foundation is dedicated to transforming lives in profoundly positive ways through grants focused on health, youth and family, and animal welfare. The Foundation believes in working with organizations in its focus areas to create opportunity, have community impact, and promote wellbeing. For more information, visit

About Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan

Headquartered in Detroit, Gleaners serves five Southeast Michigan counties: Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Livingston and Monroe. Gleaners provides food to more than 660 partner agencies, including soup kitchens, food pantries, shelters, and others across the region, and supplements efforts of those partners by offering direct service drive-up grocery and food box distributions. In its fiscal year 2020, Gleaners distributed nearly 64 million pounds of food to neighbors in need. Every dollar donated provides three meals, and 94 cents of every donated dollar goes to food and food programs. For more information, visit