Holiday wish lists are different for families facing food insecurity. For millions of Americans, and here in our own community, having a full cupboard is at the top of that list. This year, ending hunger is on Food Gatherers’ wish list, will you add it to yours?
Food Gatherers, the largest hunger-relief program serving Washtenaw County, is committed to providing groceries and meals to families facing hunger year-round, including during the holidays.
Since March 2020, we have distributed record amounts of food in our county. We have stood in the gap between our neighbors and hunger, we have provided food at no cost to our partner pantries and meal programs, and are supported by the generosity of community members like you. But, today, even as the economy begins to recover, we know that it will take at least 18 to 24 months for food insecurity to return to pre-pandemic levels.
For some of us, the COVID-19 recovery is a return to normalcy, for others, this could not be further from the truth. Food insecurity is strongly linked with poverty and unemployment, two issues that disproportionately affect our neighbors of color primarily living in eastern Washtenaw County. Individuals in these communities have unequally experienced, and continue to experience, increased economic hardship and increased food insecurity because of the pandemic.
The Food Gatherers’ network of 170 community partners and programs is spread across Washtenaw County, but more than half are located in the eastern third of the County. These trusted community partners provide a comfortable setting, close to home, where visitors do not have to wait in long lines to get food. Streamlined access to food resources can offset one major household expense and a critical need, food, freeing up limited cash resources for other basic needs like housing, transportation, and medical expenses. But we need your support.
This holiday, will you help take food off wish lists and put it on tables in Washtenaw County?
How you can fight hunger now:
Food Gatherers exists to alleviate hunger and eliminate its causes in Washtenaw County. Learn more about their mission and programs at www.foodgatherers.org.