Ann Arbor’s Food Gatherers joins national partnership to combat hunger locally

Food Gatherers staff unload food from a truck. (Food Gatherers)

ANN ARBOR – Food Gatherers recently joined the Partnership for a Healthier America’s Healthy Hunger Relief initiative to further make a difference for those experiencing food insecurity in Washtenaw County.

PHA is a national nonprofit formed with former First Lady Michelle Obama to fight for food equity by addressing malnutrition, hunger and chronic disease by increasing healthier options for people while decreasing unhealthy options.

“PHA’s Healthy Hunger Relief partners serve as the foundation of our mission to transform the food landscape in pursuit of food equity,” Nancy E. Roman, President & CEO of Partnership for a Healthier America said in a statement. “Through our work together, we’re ensuring that communities and families all across the country have access to healthier, high-quality, culturally relevant, and nutritious foods.”

PHA will be providing support to Food Gatherers, along with 29 other new partners on the Healthy Hunger Relief initiative. The support will help the new partners create a comprehensive nutrition ranking system over the next two years that was developed by experts at Healthy Eating Research.

PHA will also be providing technical assistance to aid partners in making strategic decisions when it comes to nutritional quality of their inventory to enhance food equity and improve nutritional quality for the people they serve.

“Food Gatherers understands that food insecurity is a health equity issue,” Markell Miller, Director of Community Food Programs at Food Gatherers said in a statement. “Neighbors facing limited food access often experience health challenges, and that this disproportionately impacts Communities of Color. We are excited to work with Partnership for Healthier America to update our system to understand the nutritional quality of food provided to our community.

“Our neighbors who access food through our partner pantries need and deserve a variety of foods that support their health. By working with PHA we will be able to learn from other food banks as we make targeted, strategic decisions to improve the nutritional quality of foods offered, while accounting for and responding to the dietary preferences and cultural food practices of clients served.”

With the addition of 30 new partners, PHA’s Healthy Hunger Relief work will soon span across 18 states and reach more than 14 million Americans in need.

About the Author:

Meredith has worked for WDIV since August 2017 and was voted one of Washtenaw County's best journalists in 2019 by eCurrent's readers. She covers the community of Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in International Broadcast Journalism from City University London, UK.