Coronavirus emergency resources: More than 50 new mobile meal distribution sites, options for restaurants to donate surplus food

With thousands of children and their families home from school and many others laid off or low on income due to statewide public health precautions surrounding COVID-19, Gleaners Community Food Bank is adding 54 new mobile food distribution sites throughout Metro Detroit.

The organization, the largest provider of food to families in need in southeast Michigan, published an online map (above) Thursday displaying locations and hours of the mobile sites. Earlier this week, the Michigan Department of Education published a statewide map of school sites where parents can pick up meals while their kids are out of the classroom.

In all, Gleaners will be adding 54 new food mobiles to serve an estimated 16,800 households and provide 420,000 pounds of food throughout its geographic coverage area. The nonprofit hired 48 temporary, part-time workers who will staff the distribution sites. These efforts are expected to fully roll out in the coming week.

For more information, click here.

Meanwhile, officials from the city of Detroit and the nonprofit “food rescue” organization Forgotten Harvest also announced Thursday a partnership to help restaurateurs deal with food surpluses at their establishments in light of a statewide closure of food and drink places for at least the next two weeks.

Participating restaurants will receive a tax write-off for donated food, which will be distributed to local emergency services providers. Acceptable donations include food that was prepared less than three days from today’s date. Food must come in a foil pan with either secured foil lid or covered in film wrap with foil on top, be properly labeled, and properly cooled. Perishable/non-prepared food must be refrigerated at 41°F or below and non-perishable food must have labels and packaging intact. Food that will not be accepted is any food that is open, left out for sampling or not properly cooled, fish or seafood (raw or frozen), uncooked or unfrozen protein, open-cut produce, and non-frozen prepared food that is 4 days or older

Interested restaurants can find out how to sign up to donate by clicking here.

This story is developing and we are making every effort to provide Metro Detroiters with the most up to date information. If you know of other ways that residents can access food during the coronavirus pandemic crisis, please contact us at

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.

Serena Maria Daniels

Author: Serena Maria Daniels

Serena Maria Daniels is an award-winning journalist based in Detroit. She specializes in reporting on issues that intersect food, identity, and culture.

Find her one Twitter and Instagram @serenamaria36!

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