Food Gatherers Annual Report Fiscal Year 2020: July 2019 - June 2020

Thank you for standing with Food Gatherers through Fiscal Year 2020 (July 1, 2019-June 30, 2020) with its extraordinarily challenging last quarter!

The COVID-19 pandemic presented a complex crisis of increased demand, declines in donations of food, and disruptions to our established processes for distributing food to those in need.

We are incredibly grateful for the outpouring of community support. Last spring, your generosity allowed us to provide our community partners with enough food to stay open and to meet the historic rise in demand brought on by the first wave of the virus.

We know we’re not out of the woods yet. Right now, we are working with our network of partner agencies and programs to deliver as much food as possible to our community to meet the continued need. At the same time, we know the economic impact of this pandemic will likely last for years and we are actively planning for the future and thinking through sustainable ways to continue providing food for all who need it.

Gathering with you,

Eileen Spring

Eileen Spring is the President and CEO of Food Gatherers

Annual Food Distribution

Annual Distribution Breakdown

7.8 million pounds of food was distributed by Food Gatherers in FY2020, the equivalent of 6.6 million meals. 30% of all food distributed was from food rescue.

Annual Food Distribution Trends

Food Gatherers' annual food distribution has continued to increase. FY2020 set several new monthly records, in additional to a new annual record.

COVID-19: Impact on Food Distribution

In mid-March, Food Gatherers and our network of partner pantries jumped into action to address the sudden rise in food insecurity as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since March, almost 100% of the food we distributed was at no cost to our partners, allowing their resources to be directed toward their emergency response. Food Gatherers also provided cash grants so partners could invest in equipment or staff to expand access to people needing food.

Even with a 30% surge in requests and 1,300 new visitors, SOS always had food for everyone because of Food Gatherers. We never closed or cut back services thanks to you!

- Barbara Cecil, Development Director, SOS Community Services

Photos clockwise from top left: Volunteers pack food boxes at Community Action Network; Maize and Blue Cupboard volunteer with food boxes during North Campus Mobile Food Distribution; Volunteer at Saline Area Social Services during drive-thru distribution; Food Gatherers staff and volunteers distribute food at the Parkridge Community Day; Kitchen volunteers at Hope Clinic.

Annual Program Impacts

Food Gatherers Community Kitchen served 69,324 plates of food and/or carry-out meals at the Delonis Center in Ann Arbor.

Volunteer Ian Benson serves a meal at the Community Kitchen

Background photo: A volunteer plates and serves a meal at Food Gatherers Community Kitchen

The Summer Food Service Program (2019) served 54,162 meals to children at 34 sites in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, and Whitmore Lake.

Kids and teens can access free, healthy meals at Summer Food Service Program sites

Background photo: A Meet Up and Eat Up sign at one of Food Gatherers' summer meals sites

The Healthy School Pantry Program distributed 161,310 pounds of fresh produce and healthy groceries to 942 families (including 1,336 kids) each month, at 18 local schools.

Families who participate in the Healthy School Pantry Program pick up free produce boxes and recipes cards at their school each month

Background photo: Example of a Healthy School Pantry Program produce box

Annual Volunteer Impact

More than 5,565 volunteers donated 63,183 hours of service inspecting, sorting, packaging, and distributing food, as well as preparing and serving meals.

Kids volunteer to sort produce during Family Day in December 2019

Ten members of the Michigan National Guard served more than 4,000 hours at the Food Gatherers’ warehouse; between April - June 2020 they constructed more than 15,000 emergency food boxes.

Members of the Michigan National Guard at Food Gatherers’ warehouse in June

Background photo: Staff and interns from We the People Opportunity Farm pose next to carrot statues after a tour and volunteer day at Food Gatherers' warehouse

Referrals and Outreach

Reached more than 37,000 visitors through our Need Food web page, connecting individuals with food resources in their community.

Infographic: COVID-19 exponentially increased the number of people reaching out to Food Gatherers for assistance. In March and April of 2020 there was a 450% increase in phone requests, and a 388% increase in web visits to the Need Food webpage

Distributed more than 6,000 Need Food flyers in five different languages (English, Spanish, Russian, Arabic, Chinese).

Food assistance outreach flyer (English), created by Food Gatherers

Background photo: Box full of vegetables

Annual Financial Reports

Revenue and Expenses

The generous support of our community in response to the COVID-19 pandemic allowed Food Gatherers to immediately increase the amount of food distributed to our community partners; since March 2020, almost 100% of the food distributed was at no cost to our partners.

Early on, Food Gatherers provided our community partners with PPE, cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer, and other support needed so they could stay open and quickly pivot to food distributions that met public health guidelines. Looking forward, sustaining the needed level of food in our community will require ongoing investments in infrastructure, programs, food costs and our partners.

Background photo: Close-up of a pile of oranges

Food Gatherers' Board of Directors

Photo: Graphic of Food Gatherers' list of board members. More info at www.foodgatherers.org.

Fiscal Responsibility

Food Gatherers is committed to sound fiscal management, accountability, and transparency. We are among the 1% of charities to be awarded a four-star rating from Charity Navigator for 16 consecutive years, and have earned a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar. Our full audited financial reports can be viewed and downloaded directly from our website at foodgatherers.org

Food Gatherers' four-star Charity Navigator logo and 2020 GuideStar Platinum Seal of Transparency

Learn More

There are lots of ways you can get involved in the fight against hunger. To learn more about our mission and how to get involved, subscribe to our email list and follow Food Gatherers on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Check out the video below to see how Food Gatherers is responding to increased food insecurity.

Thank you!