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The Eastern Echo Thursday, June 20, 2024 | Print Archive
The Eastern Echo

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Food Gatherers partners with DoorDash for grocery delivery program

Food Gatherers' partnership with DoorDash aims to increase food access to homebound individuals in Washtenaw County.

Food Gatherers, an Ann Arbor-based food bank and food rescue program, parterned with DoorDash to deliver groceries to food-insecure households in Washtenaw County.

DoorDash’s Project Dash program has been addressing the issue of grocery delivery to people in food-insecure households due to transportation or health barriers. Project Dash has been operating since 2018 and has delivered more than 21 million meals in over 900 cities in the U.S. and Canada. 

Now, DoorDash is partnering with the Food Bank Council of Michigan to deliver food to Michigan families and seniors. 

“We are among the first to launch this program in our community” Eileen Spring, CEO of Food Gatherers, said. “DoorDash is providing unlimited deliveries to our communities based on our recommendations.”

In 2021, 42,450 individuals in Washtenaw County faced food insecurity, including 6,090 children. The pandemic has greatly impacted food insecurity for American families; more than 38 million people experienced food insecurity in 2020.

“Many people for the first time during the pandemic needed food assistance,” Spring said.

When the pandemic started, many food pantries throughout the nation were forced to close or operate with very limited services.

“All of sudden we couldn't have volunteers or contact with people who needed food,” Spring said. “Many of our partners pivoted and adapted. Home delivery was a big part of that... The need for home delivery pre-existed the pandemic but was greatly exacerbated during the pandemic.”

DoorDash’s partnership with the Food Bank Council of Michigan is piloting multiple programs along with Food Gatherers to help with food insecurity and delivery. This includes Michigan Food Bank, Gleaners, and additional food banks in Michigan joining overtime.

Food Gatherers has been serving Washtenaw County since 1988. It is an independent nonprofit organization governed by a board of directors and 35+ staff members and thousands of volunteers. In 2021, they distributed 9 million pounds of food to people facing food insecurity. 

More information about Food Gatherers can be found on their website.