Rockin’ for the Hungry returns to Ann Arbor on Giving Tuesday

Annual food, fund drive returns to in-person format after three years

Food Gatherers President and CEO Eileen Spring (left) and ann arbor's 107one host Martin Bandyke (right) pose for a photo at Rockin' for the Hungry in 2019. (Food Gatherers)

ANN ARBOR – The annual Rockin’ for the Hungry food and fund drive presented by Food Gatherers, ann arbor’s 107one and Kroger will kick off on Nov. 29.

The five-day event aims to raise 1 million meals for community members in need in Washtenaw County.

The event will be held in person for the first time since 2019.

Beginning on Giving Tuesday, 107 one radio personalities and Food Gatherers staff and volunteers will be “freezin’ for a reason” outside the Kroger store at 400 S. Maple Rd for a five-day live radio broadcast.

Listeners can tune in to 107.1 FM Nov. 29-Dec. 3 from 6 a.m.-7 p.m. to hear interviews with community leaders and partners, Food Gatherers staff and sponsored Power Hours.

“We are so excited to once again host this event in person,” president and CEO of Food Gatherers Eileen Spring said in a release. “For the last two years, we have been battling a perfect storm of rising need and operational challenges caused by the pandemic. With the added public health risk, we had to make the difficult decision to cancel most in-person events for the last two years.”

In addition to the pandemic, rising prices of food, gas and housing in 2022 have further driven up the demand for food in Washtenaw County, said Spring.

“With skyrocketing prices at the grocery store, our neighbors are forced to make difficult decisions between choosing to pay for food and other necessities like rent and medical care,” Spring said in a release. “Donations made during Rockin’ will provide nutritious groceries and meals to anyone in need in our community, all year long.”

Gifts made during Rockin’ for the Hungry will be matched 1:1 though Power Hour Sponsors, the Harold & Kay Peplau Family Fund and Kroger.

For context, a financial gift of $5 can provide the equivalent of 30 meals to individuals of all ages experiencing hunger in the Ann Arbor area.

How to donate:

  • By phone at 734-606-0753
  • By check: Mail or deliver a check made payable to Food Gatherers to our warehouse, Food Gatherers, 1 Carrot Way, Ann Arbor, MI 48105; note Rockin’ for the Hungry in the memo line.
  • In person: During Rockin’, Food Gatherers staff and volunteers will be collecting donations of nonperishable food and funds at the Kroger store at 400 S. Maple Road between 6 a.m.-7 p.m.
  • At any Kroger: Drop off food or contribute at the register in any Kroger store in Washtenaw County.

As part of the food and fund drive, a silent auction by ann arbor’s 107one featuring music memorabilia will be available online.

Longtime ann arbor’s 107one host Martin Bandyke will be marking his final Rockin’ for the Hungry event. The radio broadcaster will be retiring soon after enjoying a 40-year career on air.

“We are so grateful to Martin for his dedication to fighting hunger in our community,” Spring said in a statement. “Martin has been a champion of anti-hunger efforts in Washtenaw County by hosting Rockin’ for the Hungry and Grillin’ for Food Gatherers on air, raising money and awareness while sharing his love for music with listeners. We are deeply appreciative of his many years of partnership.”

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.