The Food Bank of Eastern Michigan serves as a common solicitor, storehouse and distributor of food to member non-profit and charitable organizations in 22 counties.
Once food arrives at the Food Bank, it is sorted, inspected and made available to partner agencies such as churches, soup kitchens, and food pantries to distribute to those in need. All Food Bank partner agencies are required to distribute food, without charges or fees, to needy clients.
The Food Bank procures food from surpluses in the grocery industry. For example, if Kellogg’s produces more Rice Krispies than it sells, then somewhere there is a warehouse full of cereal with a date stamped on each box. When that date passes…the food is still good to eat, but can not be sold.
Many donations come to the Food Bank because of shifts in market forces. Misprints, damaged freight, over production, food drives, and other efforts cause food to be donated to the Food Bank.
The Food Bank of Eastern Michigan began in 1981 as a small, grassroots community organization serving agencies in Genesee County. Due to the ever increasing need for our services, the Food Bank has grown to serve more than 700 hunger relief partners throughout 22 eastern Michigan counties.
Starting with a staff of three, working in a small, rented portion of a warehouse, the organization soon grew to a five person staff operating out of a 90’ x 100’ donated warehouse. In 1990, the Food Bank moved to its current location on Lapeer Road. Three more expansions, including the addition of the Hunger Solution Center in a semi-adjacent facility and the Food Bank now has over 110,000 square feet of warehouse space and offices.
The Food Bank became an affiliated member of the United Way in 1985 and joined Feeding America in 1987. These organizations further enabled the Food Bank to expand its service area and distribute food to those in need throughout 22 counties. In 2002, Feeding America recognized the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan as the number one food bank in the nation with the Excellence in Food Banking Award.
With the addition of the Hunger Solution Center in 2015, the Food Bank tripled the amount of volunteer space available for sorting and boxing food products. A state-of-the-art production kitchen with the capacity to prepare more than 3,000 meals per day provides meals for HeadStart and other school feeding programs. In the summer of 2017, the kitchen produced more than 75,000 meals for summer feeding programs in Genesee and Saginaw counties.
Today, the Food Bank provides over 51 million pounds of food, including over 17 million pounds of fresh produce each year to those in need. Working with more than 700 hunger relief partners consisting of local soup kitchens, homeless shelters and food pantries, the Food Bank network serves over 331,000 people in eastern Michigan who would otherwise go hungry
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Wealth is not to feed our egos, but to feed the hungry and to help people help themselves.
− Andrew Carnegie
Retired, President, Baker College of Flint
Retired, NALC, AFL-CIO
Peggy Haw Jury
CFO, Michigan Association of CPAs
Regional President for Mid-Michigan, Huntington Bank
Director, Blue Hawk
Founder, Action Management Company
Dr. Nasir Ali
Founder & President, Advanced Urgent Care
Hon. F. Kay Behm
Probate Judge, Genesee County Probate Court
Director, UAW Region 1-D
Owner, Drago’s Corvette
CEO, Hurley Medical Center
Elizabeth Latchana, Esq.
Attorney, Fraser Trebilcock
President & CEO, Rowe Professional Services Company
Dr. Rajagopal Shantaram
Retired, Math Instructor, Mott Community College
President & Owner, Skaff Furniture Carpet One
Corporate Reporting, The Dow Chemical Company
President & CEO, Genesee Packaging, Inc.
Edward A. Mitchell
Retired, The Flint Journal