The Rotary Clubs of Ann Arbor, Ann Arbor North, and Ypsilanti are once again partnering with Food Gatherers – Washtenaw County’s food bank and food rescue program – to fight hunger in our community. The Rotary Fights Summer Hunger Spring Food Drive, which starts on March 1 and runs through the month, invites local businesses and organizations to collect funds and non-perishable food items to alleviate hunger in our community. The Club’s goal is to collect enough funds and food to provide 150,000 meals for children and families in Washtenaw County.
The Rotary Club encourages people to double their impact and take advantage of a matching opportunity provided by the Harold and Kay Peplau Family Fund. Any donation of $25 or greater will be matched 1:1 up to $10,000! This means a gift of $25 will be doubled and provide 150 meals for hungry children and families in Washtenaw County.
Efforts like Rotary Fights Summer Hunger are vital right now. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused food insecurity in our community to rise dramatically since March 2020. Feeding America estimates that overall food insecurity in Washtenaw County has risen by 37%, while child food insecurity has risen by 101%. With continued school closures and/or hybrid attendance, high unemployment, and uncertainty about our economic recovery food insecurity levels will remain elevated into 2022.
When children are not in school, they lose access to an important source of food – free and reduced price meals. Since March 2020, Food Gatherers has worked closely with local school districts to supplement their meal distribution programs with groceries and fresh produce, and to make food available to families that cannot access the meal programs now in place.
Food Gatherers will use resources from the fund and food drive to supply its network of 170 partner programs, including food pantries, meal programs, and other emergency grocery services that help food insecure children and families throughout Washtenaw County. In
coordination with its partners, Food Gatherers sponsors more than 25 Summer Food Service Program sites that provide meals to children throughout the summer break.
How you can contribute:
Community members are invited to donate financial gifts and non-perishable food items during the campaign.
1. Donate online at foodgatherers.org/rotary.
2. Drop off or mail checks made payable to “Food Gatherers” to Food Gatherers, 1 Carrot Way, Ann Arbor, MI 48105; please note “Rotary” in the memo line. Warehouse hours are Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 4:45 p.m.
3. Bring food donations to the Food Gatherers Warehouse,1 Carrot Way, Ann Arbor, MI 48105; Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 4:45 p.m.; please note that is for the Rotary Drive when dropping off. We appreciate the following most-needed items: low/no-sodium, high-protein products such as beans (canned or dried), canned meats (tuna, chicken, etc.), and peanut butter; low/no-sodium hearty soups (beef stew, chili, etc.); canned fruit; baby food and formula; Ensure or other supplemental nutrition drinks.
About Food Gatherers
Food Gatherers’ mission is to alleviate hunger and eliminate its root causes in Washtenaw County. The food bank and food rescue program for the county, we 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 www.foodgatherers.org or call 734-761-2796.
Rotary International is an organization of business and professional persons united worldwide, who provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations and help build goodwill and peace in the world. To learn more about The Rotary Club of Ann Arbor, visit the web at http://www.a2rotary.org/