Community member ‘eating better every day’ thanks to generosity of others to address food insecurity

February 21, 2023  //  FOUND IN: Our Employees,

Approximately a 2-minute read

  • The organization is nearly 40 percent of the way toward its ambitious goal of raising the equivalent of 1 million meals for Washtenaw County neighbors.
  • One resident said he is eating better every day thanks to the efforts of Michigan Medicine team members.
  • Donations can be made by clicking here.

Last fall, Michigan Medicine announced its million meal mission – an ambitious goal to raise the equivalent of 1 million meals for Washtenaw County citizens, in collaboration with Food Gatherers, our local food bank and food rescue program which facilitates distribution to provide hunger relief.

Since then, our Michigan Medicine team members have stepped up in a big way; and now, the organization finds itself at a contribution level of more than 379,000 meals, nearly 40% percent of the way toward its target.

“One million meals is a goal we can reach, by working together as one,” said Tony Denton, senior vice president and chief environmental, social and governance officer for U-M Health. “Providing food and nutrition to community members in need elevates hope, health, healing and the human spirit.

“Our quest is to create a path for all of our community members to achieve their best health. This million meals mission is one example of our intentional commitment to reverse negative social determinants of health, which includes food insecurity among others. I am inspired by what we are doing on a continuous basis, seeking to make a meaningful difference to advance the health of individuals and communities.”

Even one meal makes an impact

When you think of one million meals, it almost seems unimaginable. But by breaking it down, it becomes easier to see why such a target is so important.

For instance, Scott Maurmann, a member of the leadership team at Avalon Housing, recounted the impact Food Gatherers has had on one of their residents. Avalon is a member of Food Gatherers’ hunger-relief network that provides permanently affordable, supportive housing.

“There is an older resident with diabetes and other medical needs who began using our bi-weekly food pantry as soon as he moved in with us,” Maurmann said. “Since then, he regularly comes to staff to discuss the ‘beautiful and delicious meals’ he is preparing with the food he was able to obtain through Food Gatherers.”

Most recently, the resident prepared chicken and dumplings with what he was able to get from Food Gatherers.

“He has identified a decrease in medical events since moving in and frequently talks about how he is eating better every day,” Maurmann said.

“We know that access to healthy food improves people’s lives in countless ways,” Denton said. “And that’s why so many of us entered the health care field in the first place. Our million-meal effort is just an extension of the dedication our entire Michigan Medicine team show every day.”

How you can help

Team members are encouraged to make a donation of any size to help neighbors facing hunger and lack of good nutrition on a regular basis. Click here to make a donation. 

Please note, monetary donations are the preferred method of support as it allows Food Gatherers to purchase items at wholesale costs.

Thank you for all you do to help advance health in our communities!