Food Gatherers has joined the Partnership for a Healthier America’s (PHA) Healthy Hunger Relief initiative to further uplift the health and well-being of the Washtenaw County community. Food Gatherers will work with PHA, the national nonprofit organization fighting for food equity formed in conjunction with former First Lady Michelle Obama, to address hunger, malnutrition, and chronic disease by increasing the supply of healthier options and decreasing the supply of unhealthy options.
“PHA’s Healthy Hunger Relief partners serve as the foundation of our mission to transform the food landscape in pursuit of food equity,” said Nancy E. Roman, President & CEO of Partnership for a Healthier America. “Through our work together, we’re ensuring that communities and families all across the country have access to healthier, high-quality, culturally relevant, and nutritious foods.”
Food Gatherers, along with 29 other new Healthy Hunger Relief partners, will receive support from PHA to implement a comprehensive nutrition ranking system, developed by experts at Healthy Eating Research, over the next two years. In addition, PHA will provide technical assistance to help partners understand the nutritional quality of their inventory and make strategic decisions within and across food categories to improve nutritional quality, enhancing food equity for the communities they serve.
Food Gatherers has received grant funding from PHA to establish the foundation needed to implement a nutrition ranking system and to support the distribution of nutritionally dense fresh produce.
“Food Gatherers understands that food insecurity is a health equity issue,” said Markell Miller, Director of Community Food Programs at Food Gatherers. “Neighbors facing limited food access often experience health challenges, and that this disproportionately impacts Communities of Color. We are excited to work with Partnership for Healthier America to update our system to understand the nutritional quality of food provided to our community. Our neighbors who access food through our partner pantries need and deserve a variety of foods that support their health. By working with PHA we will be able to learn from other food banks as we make targeted, strategic decisions to improve the nutritional quality of foods offered, while accounting for and responding to the dietary preferences and cultural food practices of clients served.”
PHA’s Healthy Hunger Relief initiative currently works with 28 partners, reaches more than 7 million Americans, and has introduced 115 million pounds of healthy food into the emergency food system, while removing 19 million pounds of low nutrition food. By welcoming 30 new partners to the program like Food Gatherers, PHA’s Healthy Hunger Relief work will double in reach and span across 18 states, impacting more than 14 million Americans with good food. PHA’s Healthy Hunger Relief work is now in 30% of all food banks across the country.
PHA made a commitment last month to provide 50 million servings of vegetables, fruits, and legumes to food-insecure families by 2025. PHA’s work with its Healthy Hunger Relief partners is part of this broader effort to meaningfully shift the food supply available in disadvantaged communities as the organization works to improve food equity across the country.
ABOUT PARTNERSHIP FOR A HEALTHIER AMERICA Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) is the premier national nonprofit organization working to transform the food landscape in pursuit of health equity. At PHA, we believe that there is no true equity in society without health equity and that there is no health equity without food equity. Over the course of a decade, PHA has partnered with more than 300 corporations, nonprofits, and organizations around the country with the vision that all families in every zip code have access to affordable good food. Visit PHA at ahealthieramerica.org
About Food Gatherers
Food Gatherers’ mission is to alleviate hunger and eliminate its root causes in Washtenaw County. Last year, our food bank and food rescue program for the county distributed 9 million pounds of food to more than 170 non-profit programs serving adults, seniors and children. For a list of our partner programs or to learn how you can become involved in