Gleaners Community Food Bank Selected to Join Ford Fund’s $5 Million Initiative to Bridge Transportation Gaps in Southeast Michigan and Other U.S. Cities

DETROIT, January 8, 2024 — Gleaners Community Food Bank is proud to announce a strategic partnership with Ford Motor Company Fund (Ford Fund) as part of a $5 million investment initiative aimed at addressing transportation insecurity in Southeast Michigan.

One in four Americans lack access to safe, reliable and affordable transportation options, which limits their ability to access essential services and economic opportunities. Senior adults in particular often face transportation barriers affecting their access to basic needs without caregiver support. This collaboration will help Gleaners provide a wider variety of fresh foods directly to the doorsteps of enrolled seniors, as part of a collective goal to eliminate the disparity in accessing social and economic opportunities for underserved communities.

“At Gleaners, we believe complex problems take collaborative solutions. The Ford Motor Company Fund’s investment in our pilot program to get a wider variety of nutritious foods across that ‘last mile’ will help us support our older neighbors facing hunger and learn more about the kinds of support they want and need,” said Rachel Binder, Operations Program Manager for Gleaners. “It is because of these kinds of investments and collaborations we know hunger can be solved.”

In partnership with Ford Fund, Gleaners plans to pilot a program with 500 of its currently qualified senior adults to receive additional fresh produce in their home delivery boxes. These boxes contain a foundation of 30 pounds of free, nutritious fruit, vegetables, whole grains and protein, delivered by DoorDash. Over the course of the 12-month pilot, Gleaners will collect insights from participants about their satisfaction with the home delivery program and foods provided, as well as learn more about the barriers they face, which may include lack of transportation, physical mobility challenges, dietary considerations or other factors. The program begins in January 2024.

“Our investments in mobility solutions are focused on collaborations, designed to bridge the gaps in access for under-served and under-resourced communities,” said Alex Buznego, senior manager of mobility programs at the Ford Fund. “We know connecting people to transportation – whether it’s moving people to and from or bringing goods and services to people –  can unlock incredible opportunities – from healthcare and fresh food to employment and education.”

In addition to supporting Gleaners, Ford Fund is also partnering with over a dozen nonprofit organizations to connect transportation-limited communities with access to resources and services, including healthcare and fresh food. Other partners include United Way of Southeastern Michigan’s “Ride United” program and Feonix – Mobility Rising, a nonprofit organization focused on removing transportation barriers in under-resourced communities, and several others.

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About Gleaners Community Food Bank:

Headquartered in Detroit, Gleaners serves five Southeast Michigan counties: Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Livingston and Monroe. Gleaners provides food to nearly 400 partner agencies, including schools, soup kitchens, food pantries, shelters, and others across the region, and supplements the efforts of those partners by offering direct service, drive-up grocery distributions. Gleaners further empowers households with food programs and education to help overcome food insecurity. In its fiscal year 2023, Gleaners distributed more than 50 million pounds of food to neighbors in need. Every dollar donated provides three meals, visit  

About Ford Motor Company Fund 

As the global philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company, Ford Fund focuses on providing access to essential services, education for the future of work and entrepreneurship opportunities for under-resourced and underrepresented communities. Ford Fund’s partnerships and programming are designed to be responsive to unique community needs, ensuring people have equitable opportunities to move forward. Harnessing Ford’s scale, resources and mobility expertise, Ford Fund drives meaningful impact through grantmaking, Ford Resource and Engagement Centers and employee volunteerism. For more information, visit or join us at @FordFund on Facebook and Instagram.