Ann Arbor, Michigan
Support evaluation work on the Healthy School Pantry Program which currently operates using a box mechanism, but will pilot an on-site pantry during the 2019-2020 school year at several schools already participating in the program. This funding and partnership will help Food Gatherers strengthen their internal evaluation skills, in order to learn if the additional pantry helps families’ dietary intake, and alleviate the stress of food insecurity.
During the 2018-2019 school year, the program was implemented in 16 schools and reached more than 1,000 kids and 500 families each month. Any family can participate, with no application or eligibility criteria. Recipes and tips are included in the monthly box of fruits and vegetables that encourage families to try the produce in creative ways. This program reaches families not being served at Food Gatherers’ community partner pantries, and makes it easier and less stigmatizing to get healthy foods. The Healthy School Pantry Program provides parents an easy way, with no financial risk, to incorporate more vegetables, and have their kids try new items at home.
About Food Gatherers
Food Gatherers is a food bank and rescue program serving Washtenaw County in Southeast Michigan. They provide food, training and support to 170 partner programs, and reach an estimated 44,500 individuals each year. Programs include a Healthy School Pantry Program in partnership with K-12 schools, a Community Kitchen at the homeless shelter and the Summer Food Service Program that provides meals to kids in the summer. The food bank adopted a nutrition policy to source and distribute healthier choice items, and more than 60% of the food distributed by Food Gatherers is protein or fresh produce.
Mission: Alleviate hunger and eliminate its causes in our community.