Over one million meals were funded through the generous turnout at Rockin’ for the Hungry, Food Gatherers’ largest food and fund drive hosted by ann arbor’s 107one and Kroger. To be exact, donated food and funds add up to be equivalent of 1,077,814 meals for Washtenaw County residents.
“We are truly grateful to everyone who stepped up to donate, volunteer, and support the fight against hunger during this critical time,” Food Gatherers President and CEO Eileen
Spring said in a press release. “Together we are ensuring that everyone in Washtenaw County can access the food they need to care for themselves and their loved ones and have a healthy new year”.
On Giving Tuesday, Food Gatherers staff, volunteers, and 107one radio personalities kicked off the five-day live radio broadcast with “freezin’ for a reason” to collect donations while broadcasting live outside the Kroger store at 400 S. Maple Rd.
Though fundraising efforts, the community raised food and funds for Food Gatherers’ network of more than 140
hunger-relief partners providing groceries and meals to Washtenaw County residents in need.
Food Gatherers distributed 7.8 million pounds of food last year and in 2023 they saw a 93% increase in visits to its high-capacity pantry partners compared to the same period in 2021, during the height of the pandemic. They believe this is due to inflation and the end of federal pandemic-era relief programs.
Spring said in a press release that is was harder to reach their goal this year because of inflation. Instead of being able to provide three meals for every dollar donated, it turned into two meals.
“Getting to our goal was harder this year and beating it is a testament to our community’s commitment to helping their neighbors,” Spring said.
Local sponsors including Kroger; The Harold and Kay Peplau Family Fund; Bank of Ann Arbor; Cardamom Restaurant; Destination Ann Arbor; Old National Bank; Thomson Reuters; Cindy and John Nixon; Bruce and Mona Auerbach; and the Brummett, Edelman, & Giordano-Woodcock Families matched donations during the event.
Students at Community High School in Ann Arbor provided the largest donation by raising $71,351 dollars during their annual
fundraiser. They were able to provide the equivalent of 142,702 meals before being matched.
To learn more, visit foodgatherers.org or call 734-761-2796.