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Food Gatherers receives grant from Pfizer Foundation to address urgent need during coronavirus crisis

Ann Arbor food bank one of seven in state to receive funding

Members of the National Guard sort food at Food Gatherers' warehouse in Ann Arbor during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Members of the National Guard sort food at Food Gatherers' warehouse in Ann Arbor during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Food Gatherers)

ANN ARBOR – The Pfizer Foundation recently awarded the Food Bank Council of Michigan $500,000 to distribute emergency food to hungry residents during the coronavirus pandemic.

State food banks, including Ann Arbor’s Food Gatherers, have experienced an all-time high in demand for more resources since the health crisis began in March.

“This public health crisis has created an unprecedented need for emergency food,” Dr. Phil Knight, executive director of the Food Bank Council of Michigan said in a statement. “The Pfizer Foundation’s generous grant means those who are facing food insecurity will have one less thing to worry about during these tremendously difficult times.”

The Food Bank Council provides foods to every county in Michigan across seven regional food banks.

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Grant money from the Pfizer Foundation was distributed to each food bank, with Food Gatherers in Ann Arbor receiving $18,072 for its emergency efforts.

“Food Gatherers is so grateful for the Pfizer Foundation’s support during this critical time,” Helen Starman, chief development officer at Food Gatherers said in a statement.

“We are seeing a large increase in need for food assistance in our community. Our partner agencies have reported a 30-300% increase in pantry visitors, many of whom have never needed to ask for help before. This grant will help Food Gatherers meet this increased need."

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