Detroit group using $1M for food aid amid COVID-19 pandemic ⋆ Michigan Advance
Maiden House Ministries at Highland Park Food Distribution Early in the COVID-19 Pandemic, March 19, 2020 | Ken Coleman
A Detroit nonprofit agency has received a $ 1 million government grant to help Michigan residents offset food access problems exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Detroit Food Policy Council (DFPC) will launch Food Secure Detroit, a wide-ranging initiative to empower eight agencies to provide meals, provide residents with access to fresh produce, offer cooking classes, and offer other food programs to help keep residents safe strongest of those affected to help those affected virus.
“Many Detroiters struggle with food insecurity and limited access to healthy, fresh food – this is not new. But it certainly became more of a challenge as people were forced off work or had to stay indoors due to COVID-19, ”said Winona Bynum, managing director of DFPC. “With this grant, we and our partners can not only connect those most in need with food in the short term, but also opportunities to stretch meals and food money in the long term.”
The program is a direct result of the Michigan Coronavirus Task Force on Racial Disparities created by Governor Gretchen Whitmer in April. The task force, chaired by Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist has focused on the disproportionately higher rates of COVID-19 cases in the African American community. In the first few months of the pandemic, 40% of Michigan’s COVID-19 deaths were black.
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“Gov. Whitmer and I continue to be fully committed to protecting the public health of all Michigandans as we continue to fight COVID-19, and we must not lose our vigilance as cases and deaths tend to rise, “said Gilchrist, 24 Coronavirus lost people in his life. “The pandemic has highlighted the amazing impact of inequality on the health of people of color, especially in the black community, where the virus has disproportionately affected the lives and livelihoods of our friends and family.”
The partnership with DFPC, Gilchrist said, is a great example of how this task force is helping our local communities and making a real and lasting impact.
Food Secure Detroit will enable at least eight agencies to remove restrictions on food access caused by the COVID-19 virus.
Oakland Avenue Farm delivers boxes of groceries and offers cooking classes. Keep Growing Detroit offers indoor plants, grocery boxes, and cooking classes. The Detroit Food Academy offers youth classes and cooking utensils. Eastern Market Corporation will provide personal protective equipment to market companies. Make Food Not Waste will partner with local restaurants to provide 5,000 Thanksgiving meals for 1,000 families, as well as cooking utensils and classes.
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Jerry Ann Hebron, Christian Community Development Corporation in the North End and executive director of Oakland Avenue Farm, said their organization has been feeding families since March. With the grant, your organization can continue to provide food for those still affected by COVID-19.
Danielle Todd, executive director of Make Food Not Waste, said food uncertainty rates are rising.
“We want to make sure we’re doing everything we can to support local families,” said Todd.
The grant, which will fund food programming through 2020, will discuss ways with Detroit residents to gain access to the US dollar Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.