By Mike Kruzman /

A partnership with local dentists will allow Gleaners Community Food Bank to put food on the table for thousands of people in Livingston County.

The Gold for Food Program was begun by Dr. Fredric Bonine in 1996. When patients have teeth extracted, they are asked if they would like to donate any precious metals such as gold, silver, platinum, or palladium that may be contained within. These teeth are collected over the year by participating dentists in the area and then sent to Atlantic Precious Metals, which is a refinery in Leetsdale, Pennsylvania. The proceeds are then donated to Gleaners Food Bank of Livingston County.

This year, dentists collected a total $35,036.91 in metal, which was then matched by Kroger’s. This $70,073.82 raised will help put thousands of meals on the tables of Livingston County residents. Over the course of the Gold for Food Program’s quarter-century lifespan, more than $479,000 has been raised. Those who are anticipating dental extractions in the coming future are encouraged to ask their dentist if they are participating in the program, as those that do see it as a wonderful way to repurpose, recycle, and help hungry neighbors.

A list of dentists that participated in the 2021 program are Dr. Brad Rondeau, Dr. Virginia Eick, Dr. Matthew Matuszak, Dr. Walter Goodell, Dr. Tara Wilson, Dr. Todd Charlick, Dr. Melissa Shalhoub, Dr. Michelle Andrusyszyn, Dr. Christina Scanlon, Dr. Jonathan Birchmeier, Dr. John G. Keeton, Dr. Gwynne Attarian, Dr. Elizabeth Prast, Dr. Karen Bratus of the Dental Hygiene Program at Baker College and Dr. Fredric L. Bonine.