Gleaners provides food for those in need through Fresh Market Pantry program

Originally posted WXYZ Detroit

DETROIT (WXYZ) — Gleaners Community Food Bank is helping to provide access to healthy food for those in need through its Fresh Market Pantry program.

Gleaners launched one of its Fresh Market Pantry locations at the Mercado Food Hub a year ago to help feed families throughout southwest Detroit.

The program provides families with eggs, milk, and a variety of fresh produce on a weekly basis.

The pantry is located in the Ford Resource and Engagement Center at 2826 Bagley in Detroit. It is open on Thursday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and serves approximately 300 families a week. (Please note, that although the pantry is open on Thursdays, it will be closed on Thanksgiving Day.)

The drive-up distribution program allows families to receive the groceries placed right in the trunk of their cars.

Guests without a vehicle can also walk up and receive food.

“It’s a warm, community event, filled with smiles,” said Denise Leduc, Gleaners’ director of community engagement. “The eyes of the kids absolutely light up as they peer over the backseat of the car – fresh, green grapes are the biggest hit with the kids. Neighbors play music and volunteers can be seen dancing as they place the food in the vehicles. Volunteers are out there in the rain and the cold – doing what it takes to make a difference for our neighbors. One neighbor even brings a plate of homemade Puerto Rican food to share with the pantry staff when she stops by to pick up her food at the Fresh Market.”

The pantry is one of three Fresh Market programs in southeast Michigan. The other two are located at the Livingston County Shared Harvest Pantry and Fish and Loaves Pantry in Taylor.

“This program is an absolute lifeline for the people in the neighborhood; they love knowing it’s there every week if they need it,” Leduc said.

You do not need an appointment and the pantry is free for anyone who needs assistance.

The Fresh Market Pantry at Mercado Food Hub has Spanish-speaking specialists on hand for the Southwest Detroit community, where English is a second-language for a large portion of the population.