At MBC we’re dedicated to making a positive impact in our communities by helping individuals and families in need. We do this through our commitment to help support charities that make an enormous impact in the lives of many throughout our Michigan communities. One of the ways we raise money is with Friday Casual Days. Every month MBC employees can pay monies for the privilege of wearing blue jeans or other casual attire on Fridays.
Our spotlight charity for March is Food Gatherers.
Food Gatherers exists to alleviate hunger and eliminate its causes in our community.
Established 1988, Michigan’s first food rescue program
Food Gatherers is not only Michigan’s first food rescue program, but the first program of its kind to be founded by a for-profit business, Zingerman’s Delicatessen.
A few days before Thanksgiving in 1988, Food Gatherers volunteers borrowed a van and collected 50 pounds of vegetables, bread, milk, and eggs from half a dozen grocery stores and restaurants. The food was quickly re-distributed to hot meal programs in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti.
Today, Food Gatherers is an independent 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization governed by a board of directors and operated by 30 staff people and more than 7,000 volunteers. In Fiscal Year 2017, we distributed 6.5 million pounds of food, the equivalent of 5.4 million meals, to our neighbors in need.
Who we serve
170 non-profit agencies and programs providing direct food assistance in the form of hot meals, nutritious snacks or emergency groceries to low-income adults, seniors and children in Washtenaw County.
Food Gatherers provides our agency partners with:
- Mostly free (70%) and low cost food
- Capacity building grants
- Training to register eligible clients for federal and state benefit programs
- Customized food safety training by licensed food safety professionals on our staff