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Mobile Food Pantries in Detroit

For more than 30 years, United Way for Southeastern Michigan’s partner, Forgotten Harvest, has helped fight hunger in metro Detroit by rescuing surplus food from restaurants, grocery stores, caterers and more and delivering it free of charge to local pantries and food banks. The organization has struggled with surges in demand, fewer volunteers and food shortages that required staff to revamp their overall operating model in a matter of days.  

To help, United Way awarded grant funding to Forgotten Harvest, targeting the city of Detroit, including under-resourced Black communities. The grant funding allowed Forgotten Harvest the flexibility and funds to open 17 On-the-Go Mobile Pantries across Metro Detroit, where individuals and families are supplied with 45 to 65 pounds of food each week. The mobile pantries operate using a truck-to-trunk distribution model that allows for safe social distancing.  

After losing his job, Omar has struggled to provide his family with basic needs, including food. “Because of the help … from Forgotten Harvest, I’ve been able to take care of myself and family,” Omar said.  

Across our global network, United Way is fueling efforts to connect people with healthy food.