Michigan Medicine, Food Gatherers partner for third food drive during pandemic

Donations can be made at drop-off site or online

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

ANN ARBOR – Michigan Medicine and Food Gatherers are partnering once again to meet rising need for food and supplies within the community.

Now through Dec. 22, food and toiletry donations can be made at U-M’s drop off site at its North Campus Research Complex or online.

The drive began in March as a way for Michigan Medicine to collect much-needed personal protective equipment for its staff when supplies were low nationwide. In the spring and fall drives, Michigan Medicine and Food Gatherers raised the equivalent of 128,000 meals for individuals and families experiencing food insecurity in Washtenaw County.

As a looming deadline for further federal financial relief looms, partnered with the surging pandemic and general economic downturn, funds, food and supplies are needed more than ever.

“Even as our front line provides care of thousands of patients with COVID-19 in our hospitals and clinics, and prepare to vaccinate tens of thousands against the disease, we remain mindful of the challenges which impact our general community and our caring values,” Tony Denton, senior vice president and chief operating officer for the U-M Health System said in a statement.

“The gift of food remains a constant source of caring and demonstrates a basic yet measurable difference to those who need a helping hand, especially at December holiday time when we celebrate the spirit of giving. I am very grateful for the enthusiastic food and supply drive responses shown by the Michigan Medicine community throughout this year.”

How to donate

Those donating food and supplies in person may drive up to Dock 90 of U-M’s North Campus Research Complex at 2800 Plymouth Road. Donations can be dropped off daily between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Michigan Medicine volunteers will be on site to help unload donations between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on weekdays and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on weekends.

Donors should not bring money or gift cards to the drive-up location.

Food donations at the drive-up site should not be perishable, already open, expired or packed in glass.

If you have fresh or frozen food you’d like to donate, you can drop it off at Food Gatherers’ headquarters at 1 Carrot Way from 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Monday through Friday. Upon arrival, call 734-761-2796 and ask for someone to come out for a contact-free curbside drop off.

According to Food Gatherers, cash donations are the most flexible option since it allows the organization to buy in bulk at reduced prices. Every dollar donated is the equivalent of three meals.

PPE is not needed at this time at Michigan Medicine.

Most-needed items, according to Food Gatherers:

  • Low-sodium hearty soups like beef stew and chili
  • Canned fish or chicken, low-sodium
  • Canned vegetables, low-sodium or no salt
  • Pasta, in cans or packages
  • Rice
  • Cereal and oatmeal
  • Granola bars
  • Peanut butter and jelly - plastic jars only
  • Toothpaste and toothbrushes
  • Soap and shampoo
  • Disposable razors
  • Nutritional supplement drinks such as Ensure
  • Diapers and wipes
  • Baby food and formula

To make a donation online, visit www.foodgatherers.org/UM.

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