Food Gatherers cancels Grillin’, launches matching fundraiser

Ann Arbor — For the third year in a row, Food Gatherers has made the difficult decision to cancel “Grillin’ for Food Gatherers”. The food bank and food rescue organization serving Washtenaw County has launched a matching campaign to address the ongoing increase in food insecurity.

Grillin’ for Food Gatherers is the nonprofit’s annual outdoor picnic and fundraiser to help alleviate hunger in Washtenaw County. It attracts more than 1,400 attendees in one day to the Washtenaw County Fairgrounds and helps provide groceries and meals to community members through 170 partner agencies and programs.

“After careful consideration, we are sad to share that we will not be hosting Grillin’ 2022,” said Food Gatherers President and CEO, Eileen Spring. “With ongoing supply chain issues, rising inflation, and continued public health uncertainty, we are not confident we can pull off a successful event. Grillin’ relies on significant support from local food businesses and right now, everyone in the food industry is exhausted and focused on maintaining their daily operations. The same is true for Food Gatherers staff, who are still distributing above-average amounts of food to meet the elevated need in our community.”

In lieu of purchasing Grillin’ tickets, Food Gatherers is asking the public to donate to support the ongoing fight against hunger. Donations will be matched 1:1, up to $40,000, through the generosity of the Harold and Kay Peplau Family Fund. Donors can give online at, by phone at 734-761-2796, or by mailing a check payable to Food Gatherers to P.O. Box 131037 Ann Arbor, MI 48113.

Last year, Food Gatherers distributed a record-breaking 9 million pounds of food, the equivalent of 7.5 million meals.

Food Gatherers is grateful for the sponsors who maintained their financial commitment even without an event. Please support these local businesses:

Airport Plaza
Brentwood Electric
Busch’s Fresh Food Market
KLA Foundation
NSF International
Paragon Sight & Sound
Thomson Reuters
Toyota & Subaru of Ann Arbor
Wacker Chemical
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
Drew Fitzmorris, Ameriprise
Financial Services
DTE Energy Foundation
Lake Trust Credit Union
Mission Dispensaries – Ann Arbor
Bank of Ann Arbor
Columbia Asset Management
Old National Bank
Wilkinson Foundation
Altruic Advisors
Arbor Trust Wealth Advisors
Hooper Hathaway
Reinhart Realtors
Robertson Morrison, Inc
The Bloom Family
Steve & Judy Dobson
Plante Moran
Retirement Income Solutions Inc
University of Michigan Credit Union
WSR Certified Public Accountants

Food Gatherers encourages anyone who needs food to visit their website,, to find a map and list of pantries and meal programs in Washtenaw County.

About Food Gatherers
Food Gatherers’ mission is to alleviate hunger and eliminate its root causes in Washtenaw County. As the food bank and food rescue program for the county, Food Gatherers distributed 7.8 million pounds of food to 170 non-profit programs serving adults, seniors, and children last year. For a list of our partner programs or to learn how you can become involved in the fight against hunger locally, please visit or call 734-761-2796.