Food Gatherers, Ann Arbor’s 107one, and Kroger once again succeeded in raising more than one million meals for hungry people in Washtenaw County during the Rockin’ for the Hungry food and fund drive. By “freezin’ for a reason” with a six day live broadcast hosted at Washtenaw County Kroger stores, Food Gatherers staff and 107one radio personalities received enough donations from community members to provide one million meals for the 50,000 Washtenaw County residents who don’t have enough to eat.
Every day, food insecure people in Washtenaw County have to make tough choices. They must decide whether to skip a meal in order to put gas in the car, heat their home, or buy medicine. Parents have to cut back on their own meals to feed their children. At the same time, they face increased health risks, such as diabetes and heart disease. During Rockin’, the Washtenaw community came together to show that they care about helping their neighbors, and that they can fight hunger in a big way.
Thousands of donors, including individuals, students, businesses, and non-profits came out to express their support, as 107one DJs issued a call to action to the community and reported the food and fund drive’s progress via live broadcast. Generous donations from Harold and Kay Peplau, as well as other community members, matched Rockin’ donations dollar for dollar. In an impressive show of determination, Community High School students presented a gift of $67,890.62 – their largest ever to Rockin’, providing over 203,000 meals to the community before being matched!
This was the 30th year of Rockin’, which coincided with Food Gatherers’ 30th anniversary. Donations came in the form of cash, checks, credit cards, groceries, and for the first time ever, an online silent auction with music memorabilia provided by ann arbor’s 107one.
Hundreds of volunteers helped to collect donations and raise awareness about the food drive over the course of the six-day broadcast. Volunteers stood outside, braving the cold while engaging the community and raising awareness about local food insecurity.
Many community leaders generously provided matching funds to sponsor Rockin’ Power Hours, including Sweetwaters Plymouth Green; Wickfield Properties; UA 190; Chad and Kate Brummet, Tony and Jessa Edelman, Caroline Giordano and Brian Woodcock; SavCo; Heartland Health Care Center; Main Street Homes; John and Cindy Nixon; as well as an anonymous sponsor.
Washtenaw County Kroger stores were invaluable partners during Rockin’ by collecting donations at registers and hosting the broadcast. Kroger’s Zero Hunger | Zero Waste initiative seeks to eliminate hunger from the communities which the store serves, and eliminate food waste from its company by 2025.
With the million meals, Food Gatherers will supply its 170 partner programs with healthful food, including agencies in 18 townships and all six cities in Washtenaw County. Programs deliver food aid in the form of
emergency groceries, nutritious snacks, hot meals, cooking demonstrations and more. Food Gatherers provides food not only during the cold, winter months, but also during the summer, when hungry children do not have access to school lunch and food insecurity is at its highest.
Food Gatherers expresses gratitude to every donor and volunteer who came out to fight hunger where they live. Food insecurity can only be solved by a community that cares and works together, and Washtenaw County proved that it does both.
About Food Gatherers Food Gatherers’ mission is to alleviate hunger in Washtenaw County. As the food bank and food rescue program for the county, we distribute more than 6.3 million pounds of food to 170 non-profit programs serving approximately 44,500 low-income adults, seniors and children every year. For a list of our partner programs, or to learn how you can become involved in the fight against hunger locally, please visit www.foodgatherers.org or call (734) 761-2796.