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Kiwanis Club of Ann Arbor awards $20K to Food Gatherers' COVID-19 response

An emergency food box.
An emergency food box. (Food Gatherers)

ANN ARBOR – The Kiwanis Club of Ann Arbor Foundation Inc. has awarded $20,000 to Food Gatherers to help the Washtenaw County food bank and food rescue program in its response to fight local hunger.

The number of visitors to food pantries has risen sharply during the COVID-19 pandemic -- up to 300% for some of Food Gatherers' 170 partner programs. The gift is part of $75,000 in additional grants by Kiwanis that go toward supporting local organizations that address needs in the community as a result of the health crisis.

“We are grateful for the Kiwanis Club’s commitment to help our neighbors facing food insecurity,” Eileen Spring, president and CEO of Food Gatherers said in a statement. “COVID-19 has added extra hardship for families facing food insecurity. The grant from the Kiwanis Club of Ann Arbor will provide critical support to meet an unprecedented increase in need.”

The funds will support Food Gatherers' network of partners to alleviate food insecurity for Washtenaw County children and families. Partner programs include meal programs, food pantries and emergency grocery services that serve food insecure families and individuals without access to nutritious food.

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Since temporarily closing in March due to the pandemic, the Kiwanis Thrift Sale will be reopening on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The building has undergone a remodel and additional health and safety procedures are now in place.

Those who would like to donate items can do so on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have increased the need for action to address hunger, housing, and care for members of our community,” Dana A. Denver, Immediate Past President, Ann Abor Kiwanis Club Foundation, Inc., said in a statement. “We are all fortunate that Food Gatherers works every day to alleviate hunger and partner with others to address the need for food assistance, bringing together multiple groups and individuals for concerted action.

"Kiwanis, through its COVID Relief Committee Grants, is honored to assist in these efforts, having made four special grants to specific organizations providing food, housing, medical care, general assistance and child care to families and children in our community. By acting together, may we benefit not only those receiving help, but also those giving of their efforts and themselves. We are stronger, and we all are better, together rather than standing to the side, or standing alone.”

Do you know someone who needs food? Call 734-761-2796 or visit foodgatherers.org/needfood for a list of free resources, including home delivery.

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