Pfizer Foundation grant provides critical meals to hungry Michiganders

LANSING – Recognized for its commitment to global health, the Pfizer Foundation recently awarded a $500,000 grant to the Food Bank Council of Michigan to provide emergency food during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Pfizer Foundation funds come as demand on state food banks are at an all-time high. The grant allows the Food Bank Council’s network to distribute emergency food to hungry Michiganders. This is a critical time as businesses remain closed and families struggle to make ends meet.

“This public health crisis has created an unprecedented need for emergency food,” said Dr. Phil Knight, executive director, Food Bank Council of Michigan. “The Pfizer Foundation’s generous grant means those who are facing food insecurity will have one less thing to worry about during these tremendously difficult times.”

The Food Bank Council represents Michigan’s seven regional food banks. This network provides food to all the state’s 83 counties.

Each food bank received a portion of the Pfizer Foundation grant. Food Gatherers in Ann Arbor received $18,072 to assist its emergency food efforts.

“Food Gatherers is so grateful for the Pfizer Foundation’s support during this critical time,” said Helen Starman, chief development officer, Food Gatherers. “We are seeing a large increase in need for food assistance in our community. Our partner agencies have reported a 30-300% increase in pantry visitors, many of whom have never needed to ask for help before. This grant will help Food Gatherers meet this increased need.”

Last year, the network distributed 205 million pounds of food, with over 80 million pounds consisting of fresh produce. The COVID-19 public health crisis, however, has generated an unprecedented need for emergency food.

For more information on the Food Bank Council of Michigan’s response to COVID-19, visit

Founded in 1984, the Food Bank Council of Michigan was created to implement a unified strategy to address and alleviate hunger statewide. FBCM works with its regional food banks and over 2,800 hunger relief agencies, private companies, farmers, state and federal officials, and other allies to make sure no Michigander goes without food