Agriculture, Food, Nutrition

Food Gatherers

  • Ann Arbor , MI
  • http://www.foodgatherers.org

Mission Statement

Food Gatherers' mission is to alleviate hunger and eliminate its causes in the Washtenaw County community by: reducing food waste through the rescue and distribution of perishable and non-perishable food, coordinating with other hunger relief providers, and educating the public about hunger and developing new food resources. Food Gatherers also manages and operates a direct service Community Kitchen located in the Delonis Center in downtown Ann Arbor, a Job Training Program in the food service industry to young people at risk of homelessness, and several other community produce and food distributions and programs.

Main Programs

  1. Community Kitchen Job Training Program
  2. Community Kitchen
  3. Summer Food Service Program
  4. Healthy School Pantry Program
  5. Agricultural Initiatives
  6. Food Rescue & Food Bank

ruling year

1989

chief executive for fy 1994

Ms. Eileen Spring

Self-reported by organization

Keywords

food, foodbank, food bank, food pantry, hunger, food rescue, carrot, zingerman's, nonprofit, Washtenaw, Ann Arbor, charity, child hunger

Self-reported by organization

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EIN

38-2853858

Physical Address

1 Carrot Way

Ann Arbor, 48105

Also Known As

Food Gatherers

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Food Service, Free Food Distribution Programs (K30)

Food Banks, Food Pantries (K31)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Impact statement

Food Gatherers is the food rescue program and food bank serving Washtenaw County. Our mission is to alleviate hunger and eliminate its causes in our community by: reducing food waste through the rescue and distribution of perishable and non perishable food; coordinating with other hunger relief providers; educating the public about hunger; and developing new food resources with an emphasis on nutrition. In Fiscal Year 2015, we distributed more than 6 million pounds of food, 60% of which was produce or protein.

Programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Self-reported by organization

Program 1

Community Kitchen Job Training Program

Food Gatherers' Community Kitchen Job Training Program is part of our
organization's overall effort to not merely alleviate hunger, but to eliminate its root causes. The program provides low-income, at-risk youth (ages 16-20) with instruction in basic culinary arts, food safety, work ethics and life skills. Students obtain marketable skills, build firm foundations for success in future careers, and at the same time, feed our neighbors in need. 84% of Community Kitchen Job Training Program graduates have gone on to further jobs or education. By targeting young at-risk adults who are often recipients of food assistance, we hope to help them secure gainful employment in the food industry and decrease their chances of entering the shelter system or other emergency services.

Category

Youth Development

Budget

$80,000.00

Population Served

Youth/Adolescents only (14 - 19 years)

Young Adults (20-25 years) -- currently not in use

None

Program 2

Community Kitchen

The mission of Food Gatherers' Community Kitchen is to engage and nourish our entire community. Located in the Robert J. Delonis Center, Food Gatherers provides direct service in the form of free, daily meals to those in need in our community. With the support of more than 1,500 volunteers, three meals a day are prepared and served Monday through Friday and two meals on Saturday and Sunday.  On any given day, breakfast is served to an average of 50 individuals; lunch to 100; and dinner to 100 to 150 individuals. Guests receive hot, wholesome meals in one central location. Staff and volunteers serve more than 100,000 meals to people in need each year. In the summer months, Food Gatherers hosts the Community Kitchen Job Training Program (CKJT) for young adults at risk of homelessness.

Category

Food, Agriculture & Nutrition

Budget

$453,093.00

Population Served

Adults

Youth/Adolescents only (14 - 19 years)

None

Program 3

Summer Food Service Program

The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) is a USDA Program created to fill the gap in the summer months when extremely low-income children do not have access to free or reduced-price meals through the schools. Children at most of the SFSP sites receive classes in nutrition education designed and taught by Food Gatherers’ interns from the University of Michigan School of Public Health. Food Gatherers also offers additional programs including produce box distributions, family fun nights, and supplemental fruit.

Category

Food, Agriculture & Nutrition

Budget

$50,000.00

Population Served

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Program 4

Healthy School Pantry Program

Food Gatherers’ Healthy School Pantry Program is designed to provide free, wholesome food, mainly produce, to families of students enrolled in Washtenaw County schools where a majority of students qualify for free or reduced-price meals. This program provides food, healthy recipes, and nutrition education in a fun and engaging way to improve the health of children in our community.

Category

Food, Agriculture & Nutrition

Budget

$107,526.00

Population Served

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

None

Program 5

Agricultural Initiatives

Food Gatherers commits to increase the quantity and quality of food available for people in need. 60% of the food we distribute is produce or protein. We source many of this healthy food through our agricultural initiatives:

1. Gathering Farm: Our on-site farm situated on a half-acre parcel of land on Food Gatherer' property. Since its was created in 2009, 92,723 pounds of produce have been harvested.

2. Faith & Food Initiative: A coordinated campaign to encourage congregations to start a garden or continue/expand an existing garden. Each faith garden is asked to devote at least 50% of their yield to Food Gatherers; the remainder may also be donated, shared, or sold among the congregation.

3. Plant a Row: A program that encourages community gardeners to “plant a row” in their garden for produce that will be donated to Food Gatherers. More than 187,836 pounds have been donated.

4. Edible Avalon: A partnership with Avalon Housing to create and support on-site gardens for Avalon Housing residents. More than 3,000 pounds are donated each year.

5. Women's Huron Valley Correctional Facility Horticulture Program: A talented and hardworking instructor, Ellen Baron, teaches an intensive program in horticulture at the prison. Each woman in the program gets her own garden bed or raised bed for those with mobility issues. The women can eat the fruit of their labor but the majority of the fresh produce is donated to Food Gatherers. More than 80,000 pounds have been donated.

Category

Food, Agriculture & Nutrition

Budget

Population Served

None

Program 6

Food Rescue & Food Bank

Food Gatherers is the food rescue program and food bank serving Washtenaw County. Seven days a week, we collect perishable food from local retail businesses; bring it back to our warehouse to be sorted, combined with food donations from individuals and food drives, and re-packaged; and distribute it out to our 150 partner programs and agencies that serve food. As the food bank, we also have the capacity to store hundreds of pallets of non-perishable foods, as well as cooler and freezer space to store items such as produce, meat, and dairy.

Category

Food, Agriculture & Nutrition

Budget

$11,387,669.00

Population Served

Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Self-reported by organization

  1. What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
    In 2008, the United Way of Washtenaw County invited Food Gatherers to serve as the lead agency in recommending the most strategic investment of hunger relief funds. This cross-sector collaboration led to the creation of Food Gatherers' Food Security Plan (FSP) in Spring 2009, which serves as our strategic plan and is used by the United Way and other funders to guide their investments in our countywide safety net. Here are the four strategic priorities of the plan:
    1. Increase the quantity and quality of nutritious food available for people in need
    2. Strengthen partner agency capacity
    3. Optimize all aspects of the system to ensure efficiency and maximum impact
    4. Advocate to influence policies that affect people who are hungry
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    1. Increase the quantity and quality of nutritious food available for people in need
    - Agricultural Initiatives: Food Gatherers partners with local farmers, backyard gardeners, community gardens and horticulture programs to increase the amount of fresh produce donated to our food rescue program. We even planted our own Gathering Farm onsite at our warehouse to grow fresh produce.
    - Food Purchasing: Food Gatherers established purchasing agreements with produce vendors and local farmers to purchase produce in bulk for our partner programs.

    2. Strengthen partner agency capacity
    - Through fundraising initiatives, Food Gatherers deeply subsidized the costs of purchased produce and protein items so partner programs did not absorb extra costs to stock their shelves with nutritious food items.
    - Food Gatherers also issued operating grants to partner programs to purchase food; equipment; staffing; or data keeping costs associated with their food program.
    - Food Gatherers holds SNAP outreach, civil rights, ServSafe and staff development trainings for partner program staff.

    3. Optimize all aspects of the system to ensure efficiency and maximum impact
    - Food Gatherers launched new monthly produce distributions for families with school-aged children at four local schools that have a high rate of students eligible for free breakfast or lunch programs.
    - Food Gatherers trained partner agencies to help eligible individuals apply for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

    4. Advocate to influence policies that affect people who are hungry
    - Food Gatherers works with our network of human service providers to preserve and advocate for local, statewide and national funding for safety net services.
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    According to Feeding America's "Hunger in America 2014" study, an estimated 44,500 people in Washtenaw County turn to food pantries and meal service programs supplied by Food Gatherers. To accomplish our mission, Food Gatherers employs 29 staff members and engages more than 6,000 volunteers annually. Food Gatherers is a member of Feeding America, the national network of food banks, and the Food Bank Council of Michigan, the organization committed to the alleviation of hunger in our state.

    Food Gatherers consistently receives high ratings for our commitment to sound fiscal management, accountability and transparency. 95% of our budget goes directly to support hunger relief efforts and only 5% to administration and fundraising (2014 audit).
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    Food Gatherers measures our success based on several factors, including poundage and nutrition goals.

    Food Gatherers participated in Feeding America's "Hunger in America 2014" Study, which provides detailed information about the people served through our network, trends and will be used to address any potential service gaps in our network. The results also inform the public policy discourse so that federal nutrition programs can better serve those in need (Feeding America, 2014).
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    As the lead agency for hunger relief in Washtenaw County, we are most proud of the work that has been completed toward the strategic priorities identified in the Food Security Plan. Here are a few of our accomplishments:
    --In Fiscal Year 2015, we distributed 6 million pounds of food, 60% of which was produce or protein. This is a 58% increase in pounds of protein distributed and 99% increase in pounds of produce.
    --In 2008, only 20% of our emergency food pantries offered fresh produce. Now 60% of our emergency food pantries provide fresh produce to those seeking assistance.
    --From 2009-2013, Food Gatherers procured 330,504 pounds of produce from agricultural initiatives and partnerships such as: Food Gatherers Gathering Farm, Faith and Food, Plant a Row for the Hungry, and Edible Avalon.
    --Since 2009, we've distributed more than $1 million in capacity-building, operating grants and food credits to our network of partner programs so they can order items from our food bank inventory, including meat, dairy items, and produce.
    --We've provided customized food safety training and civil rights training to all our agencies.
    --With funding from the Food Bank Council of Michigan and the United Way, we've trained 25 partner agencies to help eligible people apply for the Food Assistance Program (food stamps/SNAP) online. In 2013, individuals received $575,000 in benefits that were spent (reinvested) in our community.
    --New monthly produce distributions during the school year get more fresh healthy food to eligible families in need at Ann Arbor Preschool, Beatty Early Learning, Brick Elementary School, Estabrook Elementary School, and Adams STEM Elementary School.
    --Since 2010, our partners have helped more than 700 households apply for Food Assistance Program (food stamps/SNAP). In 2013, $573,000 in benefits were received and spent in our community as a direct result of these efforts.
    --In partnership with Washtenaw Coordinated Funders, Food Gatherers and Washtenaw Health Plan planned and convened safety net health and hunger agencies throughout the year to develop and continually refine measurable community-level outcomes representing the highest priority focus areas within hunger relief and nutrition.
    --Food Gatherers joined forces with Feeding America and the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) to inform our constituents of cuts to SNAP and TEFAP as part of the 2014 Farm Bill. We strongly opposed the bill, signed a national petition and encouraged our supporters to contact their local representatives.

Blog

The organization's Blog

Social Media

@foodgatherers

@carlsupercarrot

@foodgatherers

@foodgatherers

@foodgatherers

@foodgatherers

@foodgatherers

Funding Needs

1 in 7 adults and 1 in 6 children struggle with hunger in Washtenaw County.Last year we distributed more than 5.5 million pounds of food to a network of 150 programs on the frontlines of hunger relief services. Your support can make a difference in the lives of our neighbors today for a better tomorrow.  “Thanks to the food pantry, the one thing I don’t have to worry about is sending my kids to bed hungry.”  “I am looking for work. I hope this temporary help is all I need to get back on my feet. Thankfully programs like this assist through the rough spots.”  “Food Gatherers dishes up more than food. They provide hope and kindness to those who need it most.” Food Gatherers is a local solution to a national problem. An impressive of our operating budget goes directly to support hunger relief efforts. Your support is critical. Please make a generous gift to support Food Gatherers and provide essential food to many of your neighbors in need.

Affiliations + Memberships

United Way Member Agency

Accreditations

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Videos

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

Food Gatherers
Fiscal year: Jul 01-Jun 30
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Food Gatherers

Leadership

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2015, 2014 and 2014
  • Board Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Knowledge Base Search
Need the ability to download nonprofit data and more advanced search options? Consider a Premium or Pro Search subscription.

CHIEF EXECUTIVE FOR FISCAL YEAR

Ms. Eileen Spring

BIO

Eileen Spring has served as the Executive Director of Food Gatherers since 1994. She has a Bachelor's degree from Hofstra University in New York and Master's degree in American Culture from University of Michigan and has more than 21 years experience in the non-profit sector. Under her leadership, Ms. Spring has witnessed Food Gatherers' growth from a very small supplemental provider of services to the primary provider of hunger relief in Washtenaw County, as well as a significant force in the non-profit community.

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Fran Petonic

Vice President of Development, St. Joseph Mercy Health System

Term: July 2013 -

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices. Self-reported by organization

Yes

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?

Yes

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

Yes

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

Yes

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?

Yes

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?