DETROIT, Mich. (WXYZ) — Access to fresh and affordable food is so vital, now more than ever, as local food pantries run the risk of low inventory due to the pandemic.
7 Action News and the The Rebound Detroit are teaming up with Forgotten Harvest to make sure families in metro Detroit have food on their tables during these uncertain times.
Thursday, Channel 7 pledged a one-time matching donation of $12,000 to Forgotten Harvest to help fight food insecurity in our community.
The gift is part of a larger initiative through E.W. Scripps, Channel 7's parent company. The Scripps Family Impact Fund is giving $1.6 million to three different initiatives, local food pantry support being one of them.
The impact from this local donation will go far, said Forgotten Harvest CEO Kirk Mayes.
NOW: @ForgottnHarvest is making sure everyone in our community has the food they need. Hundreds of families receiving “truck to trunk” food donations, and Channel 7 is helping! @wxyzdetroit has pledged a one time matching donation of $12,000 to help fight food insecurity. pic.twitter.com/4OotY40G5i— Jenn Schanz (@JennSchanzWXYZ) May 28, 2020
"Every dollar given to Forgotten Harvest means about $7 of groceries to everybody that we serve in our community," Mayes told 7 Action News.
Forgotten Harvest has several food distribution sites in metro Detroit throughout the week based on the the needs in certain zip codes. Rosa Lewis lives near the distribution site at Wayne County Community College's Eastern Campus on Connor Ave, where several volunteers were out despite the rain distributing donated food to families.
“We pick up for other families as well. It’s awesome," Lewis told Action News. “It’s a blessing to have Forgotten Harvest around here in the neighborhood." She said the food she picked up Thursday will likely last her about a week.
“They have fruits, vegetables, milk, eggs, you name it -- cereal, all types of stuff," Lewis said.
“I know we touch several hundred families a day just at this location," said volunteer Catherine Vereb-Hatley with Citizens Bank.
Because of COVID-19, this distribution process was socially distant; clients received donations directly from the Forgotten Harvest truck, right into their trunks without any close contact.
“You appreciate the need here, you appreciate the food insecurity and the ability to help in our little way has been extremely gratifying," said volunteer Richard Haddad.
Forgotten Harvest collects mass food donations from area grocery stores, food businesses, and other partners through the year.
Due to the pandemic and the stay-at-home order, Mayes said a lot of food in recent months has come from restaurants, which are temporarily closed to sit-down business and not able to use all of their food in time.
Generally, Forgotten Harvest distributes between 44 and 46 million pounds of food to the community every year. But given COVID-19, Mayes said the need has never been greater.
“I would predict that this year we’ll be in the mid 50 to maybe almost 60 million pounds of food," he said.
Forgotten Harvest is always looking for volunteers to help distribute donated food, and PPE will be provided for those who would like to help.
The non-profit is also always looking for financial donations too.
To help, head to https://www.forgottenharvest.org/donate/.
Additional Coronavirus information and resources:
Click here for a page with resources including a COVID-19 overview from the CDC, details on cases in Michigan, a timeline of Governor Gretchen Whitmer's orders since the outbreak, coronavirus' impact on Southeast Michigan, and links to more information from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the CDC and the WHO.
View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.
Find out how you can help metro Detroit restaurants struggling during the pandemic.
See all of our Helping Each Other stories.
See complete coverage on our Coronavirus Continuing Coverage page.