The DTE Energy Foundation today announced it awarded more than $100,000 in grants to help Michigan emergency food banks and providers – Feeding America West Michigan, Fishes & Loaves and Gleaners Community Food Bank – to distribute meals and critical nourishment to Michiganders as food insecurity continues due to COVID-19. Within the past year, the Foundation has awarded more than $2 million to address food insecurity.
“At the DTE Energy Foundation, we know creating a healthier, more vital Michigan begins with creating stable households in which basic needs are met,” said Lynette Dowler, president, DTE Foundation. “That’s why we’ve provided over three million meals through our COVID-19 pandemic relief efforts since March 2020, and we continue to partner with relief agencies to put nutritious food on tables across our state.”
According to Feeding America West Michigan, Mobile Food Pantry attendance increased by 64% in 2020. The DTE Foundation’s support empowers nonprofits to meet the rise in demand; pantries have also used the funding to amplify their efforts and serve people in need.
“Food insecurity is in every neighborhood and at every school. Hunger doesn’t have a zip code. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, one of the biggest areas of growth in need has been Macomb County,” said Gerry Brisson, president and CEO of Gleaners. “The DTE Foundation’s support for four School Food Mobile pantries in Macomb County is helping us stabilize families in high-need areas during the most tumultuous time in their lives. We’re inspired by the outpouring of support for children and families as Gleaners works every day to expand and adapt our services to meet increased need.”
The following are examples of how grant recipients – and communities – have benefitted from the DTE Foundation’s $100,000 commitment:
- Feeding America West Michigan – $25,000 grant – Broadened the food bank’s ability to provide Mobile Pantries in counties where food insecurity is high but financial support is low. The grant will fund 20 Mobile Pantries that will serve over 140,000 meals’ worth of food to an estimated 3,400 families across five counties.
- Fishes & Loaves – $25,000 grant – Extended food pantry hours and supplies. Now open on Saturdays, the organization serves an additional 1,000 households per month. The DTE Foundation’s support also enabled the organization to create contactless drop off options for those who cannot leave their homes.
- Gleaners – $55,000 grant – Helped support four critical School Food Mobile distributions in Macomb, sustaining nutritious food access to households in one of the hardest-hit counties in southeast Michigan. The program partners with local school districts to provide families in need with fresh produce, milk, and shelf stable groceries, including protein and whole grains.