Gleaners Community Food Bank, the largest provider of food to families in need in southeast Michigan, is expanding its reach by setting up mobile food distribution sites for families in response to state-mandated school closures that began today.
“More than 300,000 children in southeast Michigan rely on meals at school, and though many schools are planning daily meal distributions, we know not every family can pick up food every day,” said Gerry Brisson, president and CEO of Gleaners, in a written statement Monday. “With the help of numerous community partners, we are increasing the number of distribution sites and the amount of food provided so children and their families would only need to attend a food distribution every other week.”
Gleaners says the increased mobile food distributions at and near schools will provide enough food to supplement what children would normally receive while on campus. To adhere to CDC calls for “social distancing,” parents picking up food at these sites will remain in their vehicles. Operations will begin at these distribution sites on a rolling basis, ramping up to eight sites a day. A list of these distribution sites will be updated on the www.gcfb.org website soon.
As for the businesses and workers impacted by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s order to close all bars and restaurants (aside from curbside pickups and deliveries) and casinos, and restrictions on large gatherings, Gleaners is coordinating within its partner network to provide food boxes for community members. Details on the availability of these food boxes and pick-up sites have not yet been announced, but we’ll keep you posted as soon as possible.
To support the increased need for emergency food services, warehouse operations are also being extended. Residents, please note, that food pickups are not available at the warehouse. The expanded efforts are expected to cost the organization as much as $90,000 per day. Community members who are able to donate are encouraged to visit www.gcfb.org to donate what they can in this increased time of need. Gleaners also will continue to accept food donations at any of its five locations.
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This article was made possible by the Detroit Journalism Engagement Fund, a project of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, that’s working to increase quality journalism and help better inform communities.
Author: Serena Maria Daniels
Serena Maria Daniels is the co-founder and head chingona of Tostada Magazine. She is an award-winning journalist based in Detroit and specializes on the intersection of food, identity, and culture.
Find her on Twitter and Instagram @serenamaria36!