The Food Bank of Eastern Michigan (FBEM) and Meridian Health Plan announced a partnership to provide residents of Flint MI with free, healthy foods high in iron, calcium, and vitamin C. These nutrients help mitigate the effects of lead in the body caused by high levels of lead in the Flint water supply.
In February, FBEM instituted a new program featuring four large, refrigerated delivery trucks that will each deliver 15,000 pounds of fresh food per day—enough for 400 families—six days a week. Michigan Gov Snyder’s recent supplemental budget request will cover the cost of the delivery trucks and food, while Meridian assists with other operational costs.
Meridian has partnered with FBEM, the Food Bank Council of Michigan, and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to lend more financial support for two of the trucks in a program called, “Fueling Food for Flint.” The four trucks are expected to deliver almost 12 million pounds (320,000 meals) of additional nutritious foods to Flint residents through September 30.
“This is our second time partnering with Meridian to help provide healthy food for community members of Flint,” said William Kerr, FBEM president and chief executive officer. “The first opportunity included three health education events at different Hamilton Community Health Network locations, which featured healthy food distributions to assist in reducing lead in the bodies of those impacted by the water crisis. We are looking forward to continuing this work with Meridian.”
“This partnership is a continuation of our previous efforts to help those in Flint affected by this crisis,” said Jon Cotton, president and COO, Meridian Health Plan. “This is an incredibly crucial time for these families and Meridian is committed to assisting Flint, as every family and their health matters.”
FBEM is actively seeking hunger relief assistance. According to its website:
Together, Food Bank partner agencies feed more than 22,000 individuals each week—at food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, community centers, and more. Your creativity and energy are finding solutions to ease hunger for people from all backgrounds who experience need in many ways.
Do you want to help with hunger relief efforts in eastern Michigan? Are you a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and have the capacity and resources to store and distribute food, meals or provide other hunger-related services? If so, you may be just the partner we need, especially in areas of lacking emergency food and services. Our partner agencies distribute directly to those in need and are a vital part of the emergency food chain. FBEM provides partner agencies access to low- and no-cost food to distribute to clients. We also provide technical assistance and training while we ensure your program meets food safety standards and provides fair and equitable service to clients.
To donate, click here.
In February, the Meridian Winter Blast festival in Detroit raised $50,000, $40,000 coming from Meridian, for the Flint Child Health and Development Fund. Meridian also plans to donate fresh fruits and vegetables from the 500-acre Cotton family farm in Metamora MI.
Learn more about Meridian at https://corp.mhplan.com/en/about-us/ or the Food Bank Council of Michigan at www.fbmich.org.