Here for Washtenaw County
As a result of COVID-19, food banks across the country, including Food Gatherers, are weathering a perfect storm of food insecurity. We remain committed to our mission of alleviating hunger and eliminating its causes, and are working hard to ensure that children, families, individuals, and seniors have access to the food they need to live healthy lives.
Since March 2020, our partner programs have reported a 30-300% increase in demand for food assistance and a tremendous rise in first-time visitors, including families with children and laid-off workers.
Through this year, we have worked with our network of partner agencies and programs to deliver as much food as possible to our community to meet the continued need. Here are some of the ways we have adapted:
- Increased the number of food distributions each week through our network of partner programs.
- Partnered with United Way of Washtenaw County and Feeding America to distribute special operating grants to Ypsilanti-based partner programs, whose residents have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, to support the increased need at their food distributions.
- Worked closely with local school districts to address the needs of students who no longer have access to school meals.
- Partnered with local agencies that deliver groceries to home-bound and high-risk residents.
- Expanded partnerships with local businesses for donations of prepared meals and bulk products.
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.
Changes to SNAP (Food Stamps/FAP): In response to COVID-19, an emergency allotment was issued to SNAP recipients, and work requirements were updated. Please refer to the SNAP section of our Additional Resources page for more information.
School meals information by District
To find your school district’s school meal plan, please visit its website; note that meals are available for any child 0–18 years old (or up to 26 if enrolled in special education programming). The child does not have to be currently enrolled in school or a resident of that school district. They do not need to be eligible for free or reduced-price meals. An adult of another household (such as a neighbor or relative) may also pick up meals for the child.
Ann Arbor Public Schools: https://www.a2schools.org/Page/15641 (Many locations and pick-up times available).
Dexter Community Schools: https://www.dexterschools.org/departments/fandn
Lincoln Consolidated Schools: https://www.lincolnk12.org/?nc137262_ArchiveToggle=True (scroll halfway down the page and click on the “Meal Pick-up” lunch bag image).
Manchester Community Schools: https://www.manchesterschools.us/food-service/ (click on “Free Meal Program Details”).
Milan Area Schools: https://www.milanareaschools.org/ (scroll down on homepage for meal pickup info).
Saline Area Schools: https://www.salineschools.org/meals/
Whitmore Lake Schools: https://www.wlps.net/covid-19-shut-down-update-for-families/
For school meal sites for districts across Michigan: https://www.mcgi.state.mi.us/schoolnutrition/
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 a limited number of volunteer opportunities available. 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 by sharing this flyer. 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.