Forgotten Harvest was formed in 1990 to fight two problems: hunger and waste. The organization is dedicated to relieving hunger in Metro Detroit and preventing nutritious food waste. Forgotten Harvest “rescued” more than 45 million pounds of food last year by collecting surplus prepared and perishable food from 800 sources, including grocery stores, fruit and vegetable markets, restaurants, caterers, dairies, farmers, wholesale food distributors and other Health Department-approved sources. This donated food, which would otherwise go to waste, is delivered free-of-charge to 250 emergency food providers in the Metro Detroit area.
Servicing Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties, Forgotten Harvest covers 2,000-square miles to feed hungry people through emergency food pantries, soup kitchens, homeless and domestic shelters, children’s homes, senior centers and group homes. The organization transports more than 3.75 million pounds of rescued food each month to soup kitchens, pantries and shelters. According to food industry standards, 1 pound of food = 1 meal, so this is the equivalent of more than 45 million meals per year.
The DTE Energy Foundation provided sponsorships for two refrigerated hybrid trucks that rescue and distribute 2.5 million pounds of nutritious fresh food to relieve hunger for families and individuals throughout metro Detroit. The individuals served by Forgotten Harvest’s make their way through life despite confronting enormous obstacles. Nearly one in six people in its service area live in poverty according to federal guidelines. For a family of four, poverty is defined as an income at or below $24,600. Today, many metro Detroit families are struggling to stretch wages to meet the cost of basic life necessities. Though they are not deemed “poor” by the official measure of poverty, they simply lack enough income to meet the rising cost of living. Food provided by Forgotten Harvest helps bridge an income gap for thousands of people allowing them to meet other basic needs, like housing, transportation, health care and child care while maintaining a sense of pride and security for their families.