A $5 million microgrant program created by Forgotten Harvest to strengthen food distribution in metro Detroit with grants to grassroots groups is seeing early success.
The support is already boosting volunteer engagement for groups that rely on them to operate, producing operating efficiencies and increasing food distribution, leaders say. In ensuring a sustainable food distribution network, “minor infrastructure improvements really (make) a huge difference in these matters,” he said.
The Oak Park-based food rescue organization created the fund with part of the $25 million gift it received from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott to launch the microgrants program in December 2022.
So far, Forgotten Harvest has provided $2.3 million through three rounds of $10,000-$150,000 grants to 55 pantries, churches, soup kitchens, and other community-based groups distributing emergency food in Oakland, Macomb, and Wayne counties. For many, the funds are the first or biggest grant they have received, said Maud Lyon, administrator of the capacity grant program for Forgotten Harvest.

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