More than 110,000 meals raised for Washtenaw County families

Rotary Club of Ann Arbor spring food drive to feed children over summer

Courtesy: Food Gatherers

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The Rotary Club of Ann Arbor has raised enough money and food to help Food Gatherers provide 110,612 meals for families in Washtenaw County.

The meals will help sustain children and their families -- who rely on free or low-cost meals during the school year -- over the summer as part of a summer food service program.

Since mid-March, the Rotary Club has been working to collect funds and nonperishable foods from local businesses and organizations, including the Harold & Kay Peplau Family Fund which matched up to $10,000 for the drive.

Money and food raised during the Rotary Fights Child Hunger drive will be distributed to 170 local Food Gatherers partners who provide grocery and food services, the nonprofit said.

“Efforts like the Rotary Fights Child Hunger drive are vital right now. The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic caused a significant rise in demand for food resources in Washtenaw County,” Food Gatherers said in a release.

“This is further complicated by inflation and supply chain issues resulting in skyrocketing food and fuel prices, and further stressing families with limited resources.”

Food insecurity within the local community is 7 percent higher than pre-pandemic levels with current child food insecurity levels at 12 percent higher, according to the nonprofit.

It has worked with Ann Arbor area partners over the past two years to distribute what it called “record-breaking” amounts of food to community members. Community members in need receive 20,600 meals a day.

Food Gatherers Summer Food Service program provides more than 56,000 meals to children in need. Learn more here.

About the Author:

Sarah has worked for WDIV since June 2018. She covers community events, good eats and small businesses in Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in Applied Linguistics from Grand Valley State University.