Veteran resource center in Ann Arbor hopes to reach as many vets as possible
ANN ARBOR – The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 423 in south Ann Arbor recently began operating as a veteran resource center in order to connect with vets in Washtenaw County. AdVeterans sit and talk at VFW Post 423 in south Ann Arbor on March 20, 2021. A veteran takes a pamphlet from a booth during the veteran resource center's open house on March 20, 2021. AdHe said the resource center provides a safe space to share stories and receive guidance and support. Vietnam veteran St. Larry Antoine attends an open house at VFW Post 423 in Ann Arbor.
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.
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.
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.
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.
U-M sets up mobile food pantry on North Campus twice a month
ANN ARBOR – University of Michigan Student Life’s Maize & Blue Cupboard is now setting up a mobile food pantry twice a month on North Campus. The mobile distribution center sets up at Northwest Lot 10 along Hubbard and east of Murfin every other Wednesday and will run through Nov. 18. MAIZE & BLUE CUPBOARD ON NORTH@umich's effort to provide equitable access to healthy, nutritious and nourishing food to students, faculty and staff will be setting up a mobile food distribution center on North Campus tomorrow! To volunteer with the mobile food distribution center, click here. The Maize & Blue Cupboard is located inside the Betsy Barbour Residence Hall on central campus at 420 S. State St. Its hours of operation are Monday-Friday from 3 p.m.-7p.m.
Frontline Heroes: Community caregivers
Danielle Miller, WaterfordA volunteer hands a box of food and supplies to a family in need. (WDIV)OAKLAND COUNTY, Mich. Lighthouse of Oakland County has been servicing community members in the area for 48 years now. A legacy of do-goodersJames McQueen is the community outreach and pantry manager for Lighthouse. Those boxes filled with food and everyday household supplies ready to be deployed to families in need. James McQueen, community outreach director and pantry manager for Lighthouse talks about their volunteers.
Detroit area social workers step up to help during pandemic
I was a stay-at-home mom for the most part.All across Metro Detroit, in the unsettling, hectic days of the onset of COVID-19, social workers encountered similar opportunities and seized them, The Detroit News reported. The social work background is really helpful to try to understand a predicament in a specific social context, said Emily Fagre, a social worker for Michigan Medicine at University Hospital in Ann Arbor. But as social workers, their training is to make life bearable for those in need. There was lots of coordination that goes on with that.Coordination came at a premium, especially early on, social workers say. Audrey Houttekier, a social work manager for Michigan Medicine, said that while disaster mental health is something in which social workers are widely trained, not all workers have the same abilities or preparation.
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.
Flint mobile food pantries continue during May
LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services will continue to provide nutritious food by the truckload to Flint residents throughout May. MDHHS has provided the Flint mobile food pantries since February 2016 in partnership with the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan in Flint. Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in Michigan, food pantry distributors are taking extra precautions to keep customers and volunteers protected. The three help center locations now have more proteins to distribute to Flint residents in addition to the produce that’s available at all locations. To check food distribution schedules, visit the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan website at FBEM.org and find the updated schedule on the Mobile Pantry Distribution page, or call 810-239-4441.