An emergency grant that will provide approximately 1.2 million meals to those in need in Flint and Genesee County because of the coronavirus crisis has been approved by the C.S. Mott Foundation.
The Foundation has granted $200,000 to the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan.
The press release announcing the grant noted that since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, “the Food Bank has experienced rapidly growing need for emergency food resources for children, seniors and families in the greater Flint area.”
According to information provided by the Foundation, “to help prevent spread of the coronavirus, the Food Bank has switched its mobile food pantry distributions to drive-through style. People pull up to distribution sites, where volunteers place pre-bagged food items into the trunk of each vehicle while adhering to proper social distancing protocols.”
Food will be delivered to nine distribution sites. Residents in need of food can search by zip code on the Food Bank’s website to find the pantry closest to their home. In addition, partner organization and volunteers will deliver food to homebound seniors and other disabled individuals lacking transportation or in self-isolation. Calendars for mass andmobile food distributions are also online.
In addition, community members can download the “Got Food?” app in the iOS or Google app stores to find food sources near them. The State of Michigan’s Michigan 2-1-1 web page also provides resources for people in need of food.
“The impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the well-being of Flint and Genesee County is still evolving, but it’s clear that more people will need help getting adequate food,” said Ridgway White, president and CEO of the Mott Foundation. “This grant will support the great work the Food Bank does to help ensure no one in our community has to go hungry.”
“Our team at the Food Bank quickly adapts and responds in times of crisis,” said Kara Ross, president and CEO. “We would not be able to modify our operations and expand our services so quickly without the support of partners like the Mott Foundation. During this extraordinary time, our community will continue to work together to help neighbors and provide vital services to those who are struggling with hunger.”
The funding is of particular importance because the pandemic continues to impact food donations, Ross said. Due to increased demand from their own customers, the Food Bank’s retail partners decreased their food donations by 100,000 pounds in March 2020 as compared with March 2019. As a result, the Food Bank had to spend over 30 percent more to purchase food in the same month of each year. Ross expects that percentage will increase as the country continues to struggle with the pandemic.
More information about the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan’s response to the pandemic is available at their website.
–EVM Staff from a Mott Foundation press release