Food Gatherers, food rescue and food bank serving Washtenaw County, has secured an $85,000 federal grant on behalf of two partner agencies in order to combat hunger in rural communities.
The grant aims to address potential gaps in The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) coverage. In doing so, portions of the grant will be given to Aid in Milan and Manchester Community Resource Center.
Both agencies serve rural communities with no transportation access in the county. The grant will help the agencies host pop-up distributions and extend homebound deliveries to increase access to food for community members.
“As the local food bank, we are thrilled to be able to access these federal dollars from the USDA,” Eileen Spring, President and CEO of Food Gatherers, said in a release. “These funds will bolster the efforts of two of our long-standing partners who provide such critical safety net services in their communities.”
Much of the grant will be going toward Aid in Milan to purchase a delivery van in order to give more people in Milan and Manchester access to food. The food for the program will come from TEFAP, a USDA-donated food source for emergency food pantries and food banks. Food Gatherers will also provide food to the partner agencies.
“The Reach and Resiliency grant is a game-changer,” interim Executive Director at Aid in Milan, Michele McGovern, said in a release. “We believe that access to fresh and healthy food is for everyone, whether they can drive to us or not and the grant will allow us to expand our food pantry programs further into the community.
Food Gatherers’ overall goal is to help eliminate the root causes of hunger in Washtenaw County, working towards the goal through partnerships with local organizations.
“We specialize in finding solutions to problems, but none of it would be possible without Food Gatherers swooping in with supplies and resources again and again. They are vital to our day-to-day work and ultimately to our community. We couldn't be more thankful for this partnership,” McGovern said.
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