We exist to provide households with access to sufficient, nutritious food, and related resources.
We accomplish this through collaboration, efficient operations, education, and innovative solutions to achieve a hunger-free community in southeast Michigan.
We believe hunger can be solved
We believe people are worth investing in
We believe “child” and “hunger” are two words that should never go together
We believe everyone benefits from a hunger-free community
We believe real change takes courage
We believe complex problems take collaborative solutions
We believe in the dignity of every person in the community
We believe good data enables better decisions
2019 Food Bank of the Year
Feeding America recognized Gleaners for our adaptive leadership, strategically and innovatively driven decision making and collaborative partnerships—all of which you can read more about in the pages ahead.
Our work, along with this recognition, would not be possible without the support of each volunteer, team member, partner and donor. We are inspired by your passion to help end hunger in your community.
Thank you for making this a year of collaborative partnerships and collective achievements at Gleaners!
Alecia and one of her children struggle with severe ADHD. Diets rich in protein and vitamins help control symptoms, but only if you avoid sugar, artificial flavors, and other common allergens present in processed food. Alecia described the Fresh Market as ‘a godsend’ that has helped her get through the hardest weeks. “It’s just so amazing. The support we get here means I won’t run out of gas, and that we have other necessities.”
Gleaners’ commitment to providing access to healthy food continued in 2019, with more than 16 million pounds of fresh produce distributed throughout southeast Michigan. Fresh food comes from a range of food donors, as well as through partnerships with local farmers and food producers. The Fresh Market Pantry model helps ensure that these healthy perishable foods make it to families with growing children. “This pilot really helps us understand the food gap,” said Bridget Brown, Director of Food Secure Livingston. “Now our families have a way to get fresh food in the moment, right when they need it.” A typical emergency food pantry has set daytime hours and may require guests to schedule appointments ahead of time. The existing model may not reach working families that need after-hours, weekly access right in their time of need.
Gleaners’ pantry in Livingston reaches an average of 40-50 families a day during its six to ten hours of operations. The Fresh Market Pantry pilot serves an average of 60-80 families with fresh produce and dairy within a two-hour window. Learnings from the pilot are being implemented in several new Fresh Market Pantry initiatives launching at Gleaners’ partner agencies in spring 2020.
Our Strategic Priorities At Work with Fresh Market Pantry
Meet People Where They Are: By offering drop-in evening-hour access to fresh produce, Gleaners is increasing our distribution of highly nutritious food to more people in need.
Scale Up Solutions That Work: After the success of the Fresh Market Pantry pilot in Livingston, the model is being implemented in three of Gleaners’ partner agencies and counting.
How data helps us deliver more efficient and effective services to our community
Oakland HOPE in Pontiac Offers Healthy Options: Through Link2Feed data, Oakland HOPE learned that 42 percent of households in their program identified hypertension as a dietary consideration. Gleaners helped provide nutrition education and fresh produce to promote healthy eating.
Twelfth Street Missionary Baptist Church in Detroit Focuses on Guest Experience: The Church’s emergency food pantry serves an average of 300 guests every other Friday. The staff reports that Link2Feed client service cards dramatically reduce the time it takes to check in each guest and eliminates paperwork processing for volunteers. The online system means less wait time for guests and allows the staff and volunteers to focus on providing nutritious food to people in need.
Gibraltar Food Pantry in Gibraltar Creates Efficiencies: Gibraltar uses Link2Feed data to anticipate the needs of their guests and ensure nutritious emergency food is available each service day. Link2Feed reports show household sizes, ages, and health considerations of their guests, allowing the pantry to provide the right food in the right quantities.
How you can help
Harvest are focused on launching Link2Feed with more partner agencies in more geographic regions and we need your help! If you are looking for a hands-on opportunity to work with people we serve and enjoy learning new technology, sign up as a Link2Feed volunteer.
Donate and support this new initiative and others like it.
Learn more about Link2Feed.
Best Food Forward’s Partnerships
Giving a voice to those we serve.
Michigan Department of Health “We’re taking into account that many people are involved in different aspects of a child’s life.” ―Heather Holland, Department Analyst, RND
Warren Consolidated School District “It’s important to talk to our parents—they are the hub of our school’s community.” ―Kerry Keener, Principal at Pearl Lean Elementary
Parent and Community Outreach “It’s clear there is so much need. The participation was so instant—like wildfire.” ―Addie Stone-Richards, Consultant
Wayne State University “We want to understand the breadth of the environments these families live—from inside the school to outside in the community.” ―Rachael Dombrowski, PhD, MPH, Associate Professor
United Way for Southeastern Michigan “Curriculum is taught through dialogue learning, which is an active, learner-centered approach.” ―Lilly Doher, Project Manager, Health and Basic Needs
Programs Team: Collaborated with operations to ensure milk would make it into the hands of families across southeast Michigan. Through this teamwork, fresh milk was available across the majority of Gleaners’ School Food Mobile pantries.
Logistics Team: With food safety certification from AIB International, our logistics team created an innovative and secure way to deliver fresh milk to people in need right where they live and work. Thanks to support from UDIM, Ford, and Carrier Transicold, our nimble trucks are constantly on the go, delivering fresh milk to our partner schools and hundreds of agency partner pantries, soup kitchens, and more.
Community Engagement Team: To better gauge potential public support around the distribution of milk, our community engagement team turned to our network of more than 40,000 volunteers with an ask: Would you give $10 to help provide fresh milk to people in need? Their support was overwhelming, signaling to Gleaners that the wider community would view our efforts to deliver nutritious milk as an essential tool to fight hunger.
Finance & Data Teams: With operations, logistics, programming and community support in place, it was time to ensure that milk distribution was part of our annual planning and budgeting. Our finance team helped organize acquired support and created a process for restricted funding to ensure money for milk would be available each year.
Fundraising Team: Gained tremendous amounts of support for our milk distribution—from national partnerships to donors like you. In order to maintain our distribution goal of eight truckloads per month, we need your help. Donate and support our M.I.L.K. Movement at gcfb.org/milk.
Director of Operations & Project Management
With the distribution of milk touching nearly every team here at Gleaners, there was need for a point person to guide collaborations and create efficiencies. Cara Rayner was recruited for the job in 2017. With more than nine years of management experience at Gleaners, ranging from food drives to food distribution programs, Rayner helped define and develop her new position from scratch. Her diverse experience and vast expertise not only helped Gleaners deliver more than 415,000 gallons of milk, Rayner has also driven collaborative programming with local healthcare partners and their patients with overwhelming success. In 2020, Rayner is helping expand our Fresh Market Pantries (page 2) and guiding our teams to find more ways to collaborate and drive innovative solutions.
A pioneer and leader in the gourmet greenhouse industry, Mastronardi Produce is the largest greenhouse vegetable company in North America. The 4th generation, family-owned company has been growing and selling flavorful, world-class Non-GMO produce under the SUNSET® brand for over 65 years.
Gleaners first met Mastronardi Produce back in 2015, when the company inquired about donating their fresh produce to people in need. Since then, Mastronardi Produce has donated millions of pounds of fresh produce each year, which goes directly to five Gleaners warehouses throughout southeast Michigan. “Mastronardi Produce is one of our most passionate and generous donors,” says Misty Sidelinker, Food Procurement Manager at Gleaners. “They provide us with items that we don’t get anywhere else, like tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers. Their products are of the utmost quality.”
In 2019, Gleaners’ partnership with Mastronardi Produce made an incredible impact on our shared mission to end hunger in southeast Michigan.
You Can Make A Difference
Each $1 you donate helps Gleaners feed one hungry person for one day. 92¢ of every dollar you give goes directly toward feeding hungry people.
Make a secure donation online today at gcfb.org.
Call in a Credit Card or Installment Gift: Contact our Development Operations, (866) 453-2637 ext. 660.
Send a Check: Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan 2131 Beaufait Street, Detroit, MI 48207-3410
Make a Planned Gift
Contact Cecile Aitchison, Vice President of Development, (313) 308-0358 ext. 201 or email@example.com.
Other Ways to Give
There are many ways you can make a difference in the lives of our hungry neighbors. Browse our list of other opportunities at gcfb.org/waystogive.
Food & Fund Drives / Events
To hold a drive or support an event, please contact Terry Collia, Director of Marketing, (313) 923-3535 ext. 205 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can help Gleaners in a variety of ways: packing food for distribution, mailing letters, or even at one of our special events. Individuals, families, and groups are welcome. Sign up to help.