A national association of more than 200 food banks has named Gleaners Community Food Bank as “Food Bank of the Year” for 2019.

Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, CEO of Feeding America said that Gleaners, which serves a five-county region including Livingston County, “is an incredible organization that is making a huge impact in the lives of people in need in the Detroit area," adding that "From their focus on empowering children through education and volunteerism, engaging with volunteers, emphasizing fresh produce and nutritious food, to educating their community and partners in the work they do, Gleaners is a shining example of the difference a food bank can make in their community."

Feeding America judged its member food banks on such criteria as: leadership, strategic decision-making and collaborative partnerships. Gleaners excelled in its innovative approach toward achieving food security for the region.

Gerry Brisson, president and CEO of Gleaners, said they approach their mission with the belief that is possible to solve hunger with a focus on engaging with sectors like health care and education to reach food insecure people they’ve never been able to reach before.

Headquartered in Detroit, Gleaners operates five distribution centers, including their Shared Harvest Pantry in Genoa Township. In 2018, Gleaners distributed more than 43 million pounds of food to neighbors in need, translating into more than 96,000 each day. Every dollar donated provides three meals and 93 cents of every donated dollar goes to food and food programs. (JK)