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Food Bank Council of Michigan, MDHHS awarded $200K grant to fight food insecurity

The Feeding America Boundless Collaborations grant is to support a statewide grocery delivery program for older adults facing food insecurity.
A bunch of vegetables.
A bunch of vegetables.(WLUC)
Updated: Jun. 9, 2021 at 1:44 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WLUC) - The Food Bank Council of Michigan (FBCM), in partnership with Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (MDHHS), recently received a Feeding America Boundless Collaborations grant to support a statewide grocery delivery program for older adults facing food insecurity.

The Food Bank Council of Michigan applied for the Boundless Collaborations program with government and three regional food banks. The grant initiates a feasibility study and project model which sets the path for statewide implementation.

“To reach older adults in need, particularly those who live in remote areas or for whom food access is a challenge, we must work together on a statewide level versus within a single service area. We can build infrastructure to serve the most vulnerable and dramatically reduce the percentage of food insecure seniors,” said Dawn Opel, FBCM director of research and strategic initiatives. “This model of food security could potentially serve as a national model of change, delivering healthy foods to seniors’ doorsteps.”

During the COVID-19 pandemic, senior food insecurity became more visible, as older adults were particularly vulnerable to the virus, unable to leave their homes, and also left without pre-existing supports such as congregate meals. With no existing collaboration between the food banks, government and volunteer programs, senior citizens fell victim to food insecurity.

“The grocery delivery service supported by the Feeding America grant will be a great benefit to Michigan seniors facing food insecurity,” said Paula D. Cunningham, State Director of AARP Michigan. “Food insecurity became a more acute problem during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially for this age group.”

With all hands-on deck during COVID-19, Michigan food banks delivered over $1 million in senior food boxes. The grant-funded initiative has the potential for collaboration to make an even greater impact statewide.

MDHHS, an important partner in the initiative, understands the critical link between nutritious food and senior health. The state department looks forward to addressing this important issue.

“MDHHS strongly believes that no aging Michigander should have to worry about putting food on the table – especially during a pandemic,” said Scott Wamsley, acting director of the department’s Aging & Adult Services Agency. “We will continue to work with partners such as the Food Bank Council of Michigan to address food insecurity.”

For more information about the grant and the Food Bank Council of Michigan, visit www.fbcmich.org.

Founded in 1984, the Food Bank Council of Michigan was created to implement a unified strategy to address and alleviate hunger statewide. FBCM works with its regional food banks and over 2,800 hunger relief agencies, private companies, farmers, state and federal officials, and other allies to make sure no Michigander goes without food. For more information about the Food Bank Council of Michigan, visit www.fbcmich.org or call 517-485-1202.

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