Here for Washtenaw County
The COVID-19 pandemic created a “perfect storm” of increased demand for food, declines in donated food, and significant disruptions to volunteer programs, distribution methods, and other core aspects of our operating model.
Our neighbors who were already experiencing food insecurity before the pandemic faced increased hardship, while others found themselves in need for the first time. In Washtenaw County, our partner programs experienced a 30-300% increase in visitors.
Food Gatherers immediately took steps to ensure that our network of 170+ partner programs and agencies had the resources they needed to safely provide food assistance to the communities they serve:
- INCREASED NETWORK SUPPORT
Distributed record levels of food through our hunger-relief network, and provided capacity-building grants to partners
- NEW SERVICE MODEL
Transitioned to low-contact distributions, and built pre-packed boxes to provide more shelf-stable foods
- EXPANDED OUTREACH
Launched campaigns to raise awareness about available resources, including a new website with searchable Find Food tool
Food Gatherers anticipates that this elevated response will need to continue for another 18-24 months.
What to do if you need food
If you need food, we have a network of food pantries and meal programs that are ready to help, including the Community Kitchen in Ann Arbor. All of our partner programs have adapted distribution models to remain safe.
Online: Please visit our Find Food page to access an up-to-date list of food distribution and meal program sites.
By Phone: Call Food Gatherers at 734-761-2796. Our hours of operation are Monday–Friday, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
K-12 School Meal Information
Talk with your child’s school district to find out what meals and food resources are availale for your child and family.
How to help
We are touched by our community’s concern and desire to provide food to families and individuals. Here’s what you can do:
Donate Funds: Financial donations provide Food Gatherers the most flexibility to best respond to the food assistance needs in Washtenaw County. To make a donation now visit www.foodgatherers.org/donate or call 734-761-2796.
Donate Food: Donations are accepted at the Food Gatherers warehouse, Monday–Friday, 9:00 a.m.–4:45 p.m., at 1 Carrot Way, Ann Arbor, MI 48105. More information on our most needed items and donation guidelines are available here.
Volunteer: There are volunteer opportunities available at Food Gatherers’ warehouse and Community Kitchen. For the safety of staff and volunteers, we are implementing additional food safety and sanitary measures. To learn more about our volunteer needs, visit www.foodgatherers.org/volunteer.
Spread the Word: Tell your community that Food Gatherers is here to support anyone in need of food. Encourage your friends, family, and neighbors to share these resources and to support our response by making a donation. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for the latest updates from our programs.
COVID-19 Fact Sheet
Check out our fact sheet – By the Numbers: Fighting Hunger During the Pandemic.