Rotary Club, Food Gatherers campaign to fight summer hunger kicks off on Monday
ANN ARBOR – The annual Rotary Fights Summer Hunger Spring Food Drive benefitting Food Gatherers will start on March 1 and run throughout the month. The partnership between Washtenaw County’s food bank and the Rotary Clubs of Ann Arbor, Ann Arbor North and Ypsilanti is a yearly effort to alleviate hunger in the community during the summer months. Using the food and funds raised from the drive, Food Gatherers will supply its network of 170 partner organizations, including meal programs, food pantries and other emergency grocery services. Throughout summer break, Food Gatherers -- in coordination with its partners -- sponsors more than 25 Summer Food Service Program sites to provide meals to local students. Drop off food donations at the Food Gatherers Warehouse (same address as above) from 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Monday through Friday.
United Way of Washtenaw County’s annual Power of the Purse benefit goes virtual
ANN ARBOR – United Way of Washtenaw County’s Power of the Purse benefit will be moving online this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Tickets are now available for the March 10 event that will honor UWWC’s 2021 Woman of the Year, Food Gatherers’ CEO and President, Eileen Spring. Spring was chosen by the Power of the Purse committee for her accomplishments in food system security, innovation and community leadership. To date, the Power of the Purse event has allowed the UWWC Women’s Leadership Initiative to grant over $260,000 for women’s programs in Washtenaw County. Spring has been at the helm of Food Gatherers for 27 years and helped develop the organization’s Food Security Plan, which played an integral role when the coronavirus pandemic hit the area.
Ann Arbor staffing agency hosting food drive through Feb. 3
SAN MATEO, CA - NOVEMBER 29: Donated canned foods sit in a bin at San Mateo High School on November 29, 2017 in San Mateo, California. San Mateo High School students are counting thousands of cans of food and donated packaged food items for their annual food drive. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)ANN ARBOR – As the Big Game approaches, Express Employment Professionals of Ann Arbor is holding a “Souper Bowl Drive” to tackle hunger in the local community. Now through Feb. 3, Express Ann Arbor will be collecting canned goods to donate to Food Gatherers. Since 2014, Express Ann Arbor has employed more than 35,000 people.
Michigan Medicine, Food Gatherers partner for third food drive during pandemic
ANN ARBOR – Michigan Medicine and Food Gatherers are partnering once again to meet rising need for food and supplies within the community. 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. According to Food Gatherers, cash donations are the most flexible option since it allows the organization to buy in bulk at reduced prices. PPE is not needed at this time at Michigan Medicine.
Fund drive raises more than 49K emergency food boxes for hungry Washtenaw County residents
ANN ARBOR – The annual Rockin’ for the Hungry fund drive by Food Gatherers, ann arbor’s 107one and Kroger raised 49,083 emergency food boxes for residents experiencing food insecurity in Washtenaw County. The final number shattered the initial goal of raising enough funds for 30,000 emergency food boxes. The 5-day fund drive went virtual for the first time this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. “The emergency food boxes will be distributed by our partner pantries throughout Washtenaw County and each box provides a week’s worth of meals for one person.”Since March, Food Gatherers’ partner agencies have reported a visitor increase of 30%-300% -- nearly half of whom have never had to seek food assistance before. Students from Community High School raised more than $82,000 for this year’s Rockin’ -- their largest-ever gift to the fundraiser.
Annual Rockin’ for the Hungry fund drive in Ann Arbor goes virtual
ANN ARBOR – With Thanksgiving just around the corner, Food Gatherers, ann arbor’s 107one and Kroger are preparing for their annual fund drive Rockin’ for the Hungry, which kicks off each year on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving -- also known as Giving Tuesday. The coronavirus pandemic has caused many residents in Washtenaw County to go hungry for the first time in their lives. “While Rockin’ may look different this year, one thing remains the same, no one in our community should go hungry,” Eileen Spring, President and CEO of Food Gatherers said in a statement. This year, Rockin’ for the Hungry aims to virtually raise enough funds for 30,000 emergency food boxes to help keep plates full in the community. Here’s how:Online: www.foodgatherers.org/rockinBy phone: call 734-606-0753By text: text ROCKIN to 734-888-9676By mail: checks made out to Food Gatherers (write Rockin’ in the memo line) can be mailed to PO Box 131037, Ann Arbor, MI 48113Related reading:
Food Gatherers’ Eileen Spring named local United Way’s Woman of the Year
ANN ARBOR – Food Gatherers president and CEO, Eileen Spring, has been named United Way of Washtenaw County’s 2021 Woman of the Year. The award is given by UWWC’s Women United group to women who demonstrate leadership and commitment to the local community. Spring will be honored at UWWC’s annual “Power of the Purse” event on March 10, 2021, which will be held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Spring was central in developing a food security plan in response to the increased need due to the pandemic. From June 2019 to June 2020, Food Gatherers distributed 7.8 million pounds of food to those in need.
Kiwanis Club of Ann Arbor awards $20K to Food Gatherers' COVID-19 response
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. “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. Partner programs include meal programs, food pantries and emergency grocery services that serve food insecure families and individuals without access to nutritious food.
Four Washtenaw County organizations receive state grants to address racial disparities
ANN ARBOR – The Michigan Coronavirus Task Force on Racial Disparities has awarded four local organizations Rapid Response Initiative Grants. United Way of Washtenaw County, Food Gatherers, Ypsilanti Meals on Wheels and the Washtenaw County Health Department received over $1,000,000 in funds to continue to respond to the needs of communities of color that have been impacted by COVID-19. “The funding ultimately means reducing cases across our county and among our most vulnerable populations, ensuring our response to the pandemic centers equity. And at the state level and locally, that is and has always been the goal," Alize Asberry Payne, Washtenaw County Racial Equity Officer and a member of the Michigan Coronavirus Task Force on Racial Disparities Community Action Team, said in a statement. Here’s how the funding breaks down:United Way of Washtenaw County: $500,000Washtenaw County Health Department: $248,000Ypsilanti Meals on Wheels: $144,600Food Gatherers: $150,000✉ Like what you’re reading?
Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti Rotary clubs raise 120,000 meals for children in Washtenaw County
ANN ARBOR – The Rotary Clubs of Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti have raised the equivalent of 120,000 meals for Food Gatherers as part of the 2020 Rotary Fights Child Hunger fund drive. The clubs partner with Washtenaw County’s food rescue program each year to donate meals to children who experience food insecurity during the summer months when school’s out. The campaign brought together local organizations, businesses and individuals to combat a spike in child food insecurity caused by the health crisis. By adapting the traditional food drive, the Rotary Clubs of Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti provided critical support to meet an unprecedented increase in need.”✉ Like what you’re reading? Partner programs include meal programs, food pantries and emergency grocery services that service families and individuals throughout Washtenaw County.
Ann Arbor’s Food Gatherers addresses record-breaking food insecurity during pandemic
ANN ARBOR – Each month, local anti-hunger organization Food Gatherers continues to break records as it works to serve community members experiencing food insecurity brought on by economic hardship during the COVID-19 health crisis. Nearly half of these visitors had never sought emergency food before, and in August, one parent who attended Food Gatherers' Summer Food Service Program said it acted as a lifeline for her family. Without its thousands of volunteers, Food Gatherers had to drastically change the way it serves the community this summer. In response, Food Gatherers increased its monthly food distribution by nearly 30%, and broke its own record in June of the largest annual total pounds of food distributed. We expect there to be a real need for food for a very long time.”Anyone in need of food can contact Food Gatherers at 734-761-2796 or visit their website where they can find an up-to-date list of food distribution sites.
Here’s how to use SNAP benefits at the Ann Arbor Farmers Market
Community members with an active EBT/Bridge card can purchase food through the Ann Arbor Farmers Market. According to the Ann Arbor Farmers Market website, those using SNAP dollars just need to swipe their food assistance card at the market office window. Previously, Double Up program tokens were limited to $20 but the Ann Arbor Farmers Market suspended that limitation so community members can stretch their food assistance benefits even further. The Westside Farmers' Market and Pittsfield Farmers Market also support food assistance programs including the Bridge Card and Double Up Bucks programs. The Ann Arbor Farmers Market is open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays at 315 Detroit St.Related:
Michigan Medicine hosts second drive-up donation site with Food Gatherers
Those with extra fresh produce can take it to Food Gatherers Headquarters at 1 Carrot Way from 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. Find donation instructions through the Michigan Medicine Fund Drive for Food Gatherers campaign page. The donation site will also accept cards, drawings, decorated paper lunch bags and activity books for Meals on Wheels, a Michigan Medicine agency assisted by Food Gatherers. From March through June, Food Gatherers distributed more than 2.8 million pounds of food as the demands on the 170 agencies its serves have grown. Learn more about Food Gatherers through give.foodgatherers.org.
Food drive honoring local scout raises 127,000 meals for Food Gatherers in Ann Arbor
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – An annual food drive by Ann Arbor Boy Scout Troop 4 has collected funds for Food Gatherers that will provide 127,000 meals. The funds will support Food Gatherers’ COVID-19 response and programs within Washtenaw County as community partners report a significant rise in food insecurity. For 15 years, the troop has hosted the “Tim Esch Scouting for Food Birthday Party” in honor of Eagle Scout Tim Esch as part of the food drive. Each year the annual food drive collects donations and non-perishable foods by going door-to-door. To honor him, the food drive is done on the weekend of his birthday.
Toyota invests $140K in Food Gatherers Summer Food Service Program
ANN ARBOR As local families mark the last day of school Friday, Food Gatherers has announced it is once again partnering with Toyota to support its Summer Food Service Program. Throughout the school year, these local children rely on free or subsidized breakfast and/or lunch, and Food Gatherers annual summer food program aims to fill those gaps. Food Gatherers is grateful for Toyotas investment in the summer food program, Helen Starman, Food Gatherers Chief Development Officer said in a statement. In addition to summer food, they have also supported critical food distribution during the pandemic. Like what youre reading? With the summer food program, Food Gatherers has really had to think about how to serve an even greater need, especially since the schools are closing.
Blue LLama Jazz Club to host Saturday night concert to benefit Food Gatherers
ANN ARBOR, Mich. At 6 p.m. on Saturday, downtown Ann Arbors Blue LLama Jazz Club will host a virtual concert with pianist Ellen Rowe to benefit Food Gatherers. The virtual concert will be accessible through the Blue LLama website and Facebook and YouTube pages. Over the course of the pandemic, Blue LLama Jazz Club has been offering carryout and delivery meals, tipped virtual concerts and free meals for those in need. It also supports Food Gatherers initiatives by donating meals to the food assistance organization. Blue LLama Jazz Club is at 314 S. Main Street.
Food Gatherers cancels annual Grillin fundraiser amid COVID-19 crisis
ANN ARBOR Food Gatherers announced Wednesday it is canceling its annual Grillin fundraiser to help alleviate hunger in Washtenaw County due to public health restrictions surrounding COVID-19. In response, Food Gatherers has launched a matching campaign to meet increased need to feed the community during the health crisis. Over the last two months, Food Gatherers partner programs have seen a 30%-300% increase in demand. And in April, Food Gatherers distributed the largest one-month total of food in the community in 31 years, marking a 30% increase from an average month. For updates on Food Gatherers COVID-19 response and how to get involved, visit foodgatherers.org/covid19.
Virtual triathlon to benefit Ann Arbors Food Gatherers throughout May
ANN ARBOR Ann Arbor-based Epic Races has had to shift its outdoor events dramatically since the coronavirus outbreak began at the onset of its busiest season. Considering the current times, the unique event replaces traditional swimming and cycling events with yoga and meditation. I wanted to create a virtual event that could feel as real as possible, Epic Races CEO Eva Solomon said in a news release. Those three disciplines would be challenging to do as a group online so we put a twist on it and created a triathlon event that consists of yoga, running, and meditation. To date, Epic Races has raised $3,141 -- equivalent to 9,423 meals -- for Washtenaw Countys premier food rescue organization through race entries and participant donations.