In a continuous effort to address food insecurity during the summer months for children in metro Detroit, Forgotten Harvest’s “Healthy Foods – Healthy Kids” initiative works to provide access to nutritious food for nearly 200,000 children in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties.
This initiative combats hunger with three different programs: Summer Lunch Program, Detroit Public Library Healthy Kids Partnership and School Pantry Program. Each of these programs take a unique approach:
- Summer Lunch Program – volunteer groups pack lunches five days a week to provide nourishment for at-risk children that lose access to school breakfast and lunch during the summer time
- Detroit Public Library Healthy Kids Partnership – Forgotten Harvest puts together healthy snacks for children that are attending after-school and summer enrichment programs at the 22 library branches throughout Detroit
- School Pantry Program – this program works to distribute fresh food year-round to food insecure families with young children through agencies with “Head Start” programs
These programs are vital to ensuring that metro Detroit children receive healthy foods so they can grow, learn and thrive in and out of the classroom. During the 2019 summer, Forgotten Harvest will work with 41 agency partners to provide more than 100,000 nourishing lunches and snacks. Last fiscal year the School Pantry Program, for example, provided 1.4 million pounds of healthy food to 11 pantry partners, Detroit Public Library program provides over 100,000 snacks to 22 branches.
“Forgotten Harvest would not be able to do this great work if it wasn’t for the help from donors and organizations that help us to provide children with healthy meals all year long,” said Kirk Mayes, Forgotten Harvest CEO.
According to a recent survey implemented by Forgotten Harvest through the School Pantry Program, 93 percent of parents reported improved household stability; 92 percent said that the food was helping their child eat healthier; and 89 percent said the food and the program were preparing their child to focus better and learn in the classroom.
These stats provide Forgotten Harvest, community leaders and program sponsors the assurance that Healthy Foods- Healthy Kids is vital to the community and critical in the well-being of metro Detroit children.
Forgotten Harvest gratefully acknowledges all of the supporters who make Healthy Food–Healthy Kids possible, including the Robert F. Beard Charitable Foundation, BJ’s Wholesale, Comerica Bank, Cooper Standard, Delta Dental of Michigan, the Vera and Joseph Dresner Foundation, Fifth Third Bank, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Grainger, Kroger Co. of Michigan, Lear, PNC Foundation, Priority Health, Rite Aid Foundation and United Way of Southeastern Michigan.
To learn more about Forgotten Harvest’s youth food programs or mobile pantries, visit www.forgottenharvest.org/programs/. Those interested in volunteering to help pack lunches, can learn more at www.forgottenharvest.org/volunteer/.