Gleaners’ Emergency Response Update: August

While the spread of COVID-19 has steadied in Michigan, the need for emergency food persists. Over the past four months, Gleaners and our partners have distributed more than 26 million pounds of food. Fresh, nutritious groceries and shelf stable foods leave our distribution centers to reach families in high-need neighborhoods and at-risk individuals who might otherwise go hungry.

During this current crisis, we can all be advocates for the health and well-being of our neighbors. Food insecurity continues to be a constant stress for so many. Recent projections estimate that more than 778,000 people in our service region could be at risk, including up to 23% of our children.

If you or anyone you know is missing meals or sacrificing food budgets to pay for fixed expenses, please share information about Gleaners’ free food distribution sites, operating five to six days a week.

Current Need & Reach

Combating Summer Hunger and the COVID-19 Slump
A healthy learning environment starts with nutritious food. Research from the National Education Association demonstrates that children from families who are not sure where their next meal may come from are more likely to have lower math scores and repeat a grade, among other challenges. As the school year approaches, much more uncertainty lies ahead—including how high the rate of childhood hunger could rise.

“If the school day is virtual, how can we ensure these kids are going to be fed,” said Rachelle Bonelli, Vice President of Programs at Gleaners Community Food Bank. “We are working with school districts to employ a variety of distribution models to meet their unique needs. It may be a case-by-case basis, and we are committed to providing the nutritious food our kids and their families deserve.”

As our Summer Food Service Program comes to a close, the Gleaners team is working with local school districts ensure kids in need have access to the food they need to learn and grow. Learn more and stay tuned for news on our ongoing work. 

Welcome Back, Volunteers!
After suspending volunteer shifts during the ‘Stay Home, Stay Safe’ executive order, our supporters are back helping feed their neighbors in need. Recently, the staff at Barton Malow volunteered at Gleaners’ Pontiac Distribution Center, packing boxes of emergency food bound for seniors and at-risk individuals across Michigan. “It was a very rewarding experience,” said Amanda DeBene, Administrative Supervisor. “To see box after box get packed and knowing that each one would go to someone in need was powerful.” The team packed up more than 7,000 pounds of food during their shifts, totaling 8,400 meals for vulnerable individuals and their families.

Learn more about current opportunities and how all volunteer shifts follow protocols and procedures to help ensure safe food distribution environments.

Giving Updates

Final Days to Double Your Impact
Now through Labor Day, every gift to Gleaners is matched! Join the Hunger Free Summer Campaign to help children, families and seniors in urgent need. Every dollar give provides six meals.

Support Livingston County in Honor of Iron Chef
August 13 would have been the 16th Iron Chef Competition, an annual event to help raise vital support for our hungry neighbors. With this year’s cancellation, Gleaners offers new ways to stay connected and help households affected by the current crisis.

Emergency Food Distribution Sites

Our ongoing drive-up food distribution sites provide 36 pounds of fresh groceries to any household in need. Find locations in your neighborhood and help spread the word!