'The need is increasing.' Organizations helping fight food insecurity in metro Detroit

Posted at 5:48 AM, Nov 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-19 12:26:20-05

(WXYZ) — Food insecurity in metro Detroit is real, and access to fresh and affordable food is vital.

As the holidays approach, food banks and pantries like Gleaners and Forgotten Harvest are in need of goods.

Every donation helps those who don't know where their next meal might come from.

Trucks are loaded up every morning at Forgotten Harvest, ready to distribute food to people in need across the area. Volunteers then help those in need, making sure people don't go hungry.

Cars line up at Forgotten Harvest's sites every week, and windshields are marked with how many people are in the household so they know how much food to give.

One truck has enough food on it to feed 500 households.

"I love it. They give you so much to eat and I can share it with someone and my neighbors also," one person told us.

Forgotten Harvest addresses food waste and food insecurity. They bring in healthy, nutritious food that otherwise would go to waste.

Chief Development Office Tim Hudson said he has not seen lines like this since the summer.

"We have kind of seen an uptick in the last couple of weeks at some of our pantry distributions where we are seeing the need is increasing again," Hudson said.

He said two big factors are at play: inflation and unemployment.

The cost of groceries are going up. According to the USDA, the food at home, which is the food you eat at home, has gone up at much as 4.5% and is expected to go up another 2.5% in 2022.

"People have to make decisions about how they spend their money. Is it a kind of heat or eat or pay a medical bill kind of thing?" he added.

In Michigan, there are over 1.3 million people on food stamps. In metro Detroit, 48% of households are food insecure, and 40% rely on SNAP benefits.

Forgotten Harvest is there to help, and with Thanksgiving only a week away, any bit helps.