Food Gatherers Announces Record Year Food Distribution in Washtenaw County
ANN ARBOR – Food Gatherers announced this week that it had distributed a record-breaking amount of food to community members in need in fiscal 2020-2021.
In total, the Washtenaw County’s food rescue organization distributed more than 9 million pounds of food, breaking the previous year’s record of 7.8 million pounds of food. This year’s amount is equivalent to 7.5 million meals.
Shortly after the March 2020 coronavirus pandemic hit Michigan, Food Gatherers said their partner agencies reported a 30-300% increase in attendance. Almost half of these visitors have never had to look for emergency food.
“We have never seen anything like it, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of people in need of help and at the same time the pandemic has forced us to completely rethink every aspect of our service model,” said Eileen Spring, President and CEO of Food Gatherers in a Declaration in October 2020.
According to Food Gatherers, there are currently 42,450 people with unsafe food supplies in Washtenaw County, and 6,090 children in the county live in households with unsafe food supplies.
Spring said she was grateful that the organization’s team and supporters were able to accomplish their mission to alleviate hunger during a global pandemic.
“We are so grateful to our community partners and our Food Gatherers team for adapting and enduring the many challenges we all faced during the pandemic,” Spring said in a statement.
“We hope that the increased awareness of food insecurity will lead to a better understanding of the importance of federal nutrition programs and programs to combat poverty. We invite you to find out more on our website www.foodgatherers.org/advocate. “
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