DETROIT (WXYZ) – The Gleaners Community Food Bank is helping provide access to healthy food to those in need through its Fresh Market Pantry program.
Gleaners launched one of its Fresh Market Pantry stores at the Mercado Food Hub a year ago to help feed families in southwest Detroit.
The program provides families with eggs, milk and a variety of fresh produce every week.
The pantry is located at the Ford Resource and Engagement Center at 2826 Bagley in Detroit. It is open Thursdays from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and serves around 300 families per week. (Please note that although the pantry is open on Thursdays, it will be closed on Thanksgiving Day.)
The drive-thru distribution program allows families to receive groceries placed directly in the trunk of their car.
Guests without a vehicle can also get on and receive food.
“It’s a warm community event filled with smiles,” said Denise Leduc, Director of Community Engagement at Gleaners. “Children’s eyes absolutely light up when they look over the backseat of the car – fresh green grapes are the biggest hit with kids. Neighbors play music and volunteers dance as they place food in the vehicles. The volunteers are out there in the rain and the cold – they do whatever it takes to make a difference for our neighbors. A neighbor even brings a plate of homemade Puerto Rican food to share with the pantry staff when she stops to pick up her food at the Fresh Market.
The Pantry is one of three Fresh Market programs in Southeast Michigan. The other two are located in Livingston County’s Shared Harvest Pantry and Taylor’s Fish and Bread Pantry.
“This program is an absolute lifeline for the people of the neighborhood; they like to know he’s there every week if they need him, ”said Leduc.
You don’t need an appointment and the pantry is free for anyone who needs help.
The Fresh Market Pantry at the Mercado Food Hub has Spanish speaking specialists for the southwest Detroit community, where English is the second language for much of the population.