ROTARY FIGHTS SUMMER HUNGER!
The Rotary Club of Ann Arbor has been partnering with our local food bank, Food Gatherers, for the past 13 years to fight hunger in Washtenaw County. Our food drive, called Rotary Fights Summer Hunger, helps lower income children who receive subsidized school lunches during the school year stay fed through the summer.
Over a two-week span each March, we place collection boxes at schools and businesses throughout our community as well as accept financial donations. In 2017, our drive was responsible for providing 116,740 meals. Over the drive’s history, we have provided 554,000 meals to the hungry in our community.
Hunger is real in Washtenaw County
Each year, an estimated 45,000 people turn to Food Gatherers to feed themselves and their families. This includes approximately 9,700 children and 2,800 seniors. These individuals are our neighbors, relatives, friends and co-workers.
Spring food drive donations are especially important
When school lets out for summer, many low-income families with school-aged children need assistance to replace meals provided by the free/reduced breakfast and lunch programs during the school year. The food collected during the Rotary food drive will help ensure that children in these families grow healthy and strong—our goal is to provide 80,000 meals throughout the summer. Food will be made available through Food Gatherers’ network of 150 partner programs throughout Washtenaw County, including more than 30 Summer Food Service Program sites serving children with food along with nutrition education classes.
Rotary is partnering with Food Gatherers to help fight hunger locally
More than 80 local businesses and organizations will be working with the Rotary Clubs and Food Gatherers, Washtenaw County’s food rescue/food bank program, to collect needed canned and non-perishable food items to be distributed to 150 non-profit programs who work to alleviate hunger in our community. The Salvation Army, Dawn Farm, Ozone House, Peace Neighborhood Center, Perry Nursery School, Dexter Senior Center, SOS Community Services, the Shelter Association of Washtenaw County, and Hope Clinic are all organizations who benefit from our food drive.
What to Contribute?
- Donate Food! For summer, the food bank is in particular need of high-protein products such as peanut butter, tuna, canned meats, beans, chili, hearty soups and stews, plus canned fruit, baby food/formula, and Ensure or other nutritional supplement drinks
- Donate Funds! To donate online by credit card or checking account, go to www.foodgatherers.org/rotary. One thing that’s new this year is that you can click on “Register Your Own Team” or “Participate as an Individual” to launch your own Rotary Fights Summer Hunger fundraising page to share via email, Facebook, Twitter and other social media. Track real-time donations and challenge your coworkers and friends! Spread the word about this opportunity to double your donation dollars for our neighbors in need.
- Financial gifts of $25 or more to Food Gatherers through the Rotary Fight Summer Hunger Food and Fund Drive will be matched dollar for dollar through the Harold and Kay Peplau Match Challenge. A gift of $25 will provide enough food for 150 meals when you include the match! Give online at the Food Gatherers’ website.
Who Can Contribute?
- Everyone! Employees, customers, clients, family and friends. The goal is to collect as much food as possible for our neighbors in need throughout our community.
- To donate financial gifts; Businesses can collect gifts of cash, checks (made payable to Food Gatherers) and donate online. Gifts can be delivered to Food Gatherers Warehouse, 1 Carrot Way, Ann Arbor, MI 48105 along with food donations. Receipts for financial gifts will be issued by Food Gatherers for checks and online gifts.
Getting the word out is important! Include information in your company newsletter, in employee paychecks, e-mails. Explore fun ways to encourage participation as well. For example, slip a grocery bag on each employee’s desk for their own personal food collection to be added to your company’s bin.
Food Collection Boxes
The food collection boxes stand about 3 feet tall and just under 2 feet square. Identify a location that is easily accessible, but won’t be in the way of normal day-to-day traffic flow.
Boxes will have food drive posters already attached. We will also provide an extra poster for display, preferably on the wall near your collection site, as well as fliers for your patrons.
You will also receive a Donor Form to be completed and returned along with your food.
Collection Box Delivery
Food collection boxes (flattened) will be delivered to you during business hours the week prior, the week of February 26th to March 2nd.
When the drive is over, collected food and your food collection box should be dropped off at Food Gatherers, 1 Carrot Way, Ann Arbor MI 48105. Pull up to the large orange loading door and enter the orange doors to the right that say “Agency and Food Donor Entrance.” Please have your Rotary Donor Form in hand and filled out with your information. We will fill in the total weight of your collection when all the food has been weighed.
Food drop-off hours are Monday, March 19 from 9 a.m. – 4:45 p.m. and Tuesday, March 20 from 9 a.m. – 4:45 p.m.
Please note: For easier transport, you will need to transfer your food into boxes which can be easily lifted. Xerox paper boxes are a good size, for example, and will stack easily if not over filled. Remember people’s backs when packing food into boxes!
Directions to Food Gatherers:
From Plymouth Road: Take Plymouth Rd. to Nixon Rd. (in front of Pfizer). Go north on Nixon (the only way you can) for about 1 mile. Turn left on Dhu Varren Rd. (the only way you can). Go about 1 mile, cross over the railroad tracks. Food Gatherers will be at the top of the hill on your right. Turn right on Carrot Way near the new Carrot Way Apartments. Look for Food Gatherers’ giant carrots!
From Pontiac Trail: Head north out of town approximately 2 miles, cross Barton Dr. Turn right on Dhu Varren Rd. Pass the Olson Park. Turn left onto Carrot Way.
If you have any questions or concerns prior to or during the food drive, please contact your assigned Rotarian or Todd Kephart by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Rotary Club of Ann Arbor has a 100-year history of service to Ann Arbor. To learn more about the club, visit the Rotary Club website.
Food Gatherers is Washtenaw County’s food bank and food rescue program, distributing 6.5 million pounds of food to 150 non-profit programs serving low-income adults, seniors and children annually. For a list of food donors and recipient agencies or to learn how you can become involved in the fight against hunger, please visit the FoodGatherers website or call (734) 761-2796.
To learn more about child hunger in the United States, visit the Feeding America website.