Our Thanks to the Metro Detroit Community From the CEO of Forgotten Harvest
Barb is a senior citizen who lives on a fixed income and worries about how to stretch her budget every month….
Kim is a single mom, a small business owner and is raising two high-energy teens, one of whom is a recent cancer survivor….
Carol lost her husband in the past year and cares for her daughter who has heart defects that strap the family budget….
These are your neighbors. Folks who live down the street from you. All have one thing in common. They rely on Forgotten Harvest’s food to help them make ends meet and stay in their home. For thousands of people just like them throughout metro Detroit, life is a paycheck-to-paycheck struggle.
Today, many metro Detroit families fight to stretch wages to meet the cost of basic life necessities including rent, clothing, transportation, food, child care and health care. Though many people have household incomes over the federal measures of poverty, Forgotten Harvest clients like Barb, Kim and Carol experience the stark realities of very limited budgets required to meet basic needs.
A recently published comprehensive study, commissioned by The Food Bank Council of Michigan and entitled, The Self Sufficiency Standard for Michigan 2017, illustrates the disparity between federal poverty guidelines and the income required to meet basic needs. The study shows that many people with household incomes over the federal poverty threshold still cannot meet basic needs. The following excerpt from the study shows the income gap between the federal poverty guidelines for a family of four versus the minimum income required to support a family in today’s economy.
Above: The income gap between the federal poverty guidelines for a family of four versus the minimum income required to support a family in today’s economy.
To The People We Serve – Our Thanks
During the past few months, we have shared stories of people we serve like Barb, Kim and Carol. We are deeply grateful to the wonderful people who volunteered their stories in hopes that the thousands of their metro Detroit neighbors in similar circumstances would benefit from their testimony. Those we serve inspire and relentlessly drive us forward. It is an honor to serve them.
To Those Who Support Our Mission – Our Thanks
Over 26,000 individuals, corporations, foundations and government agencies support the mission of Forgotten Harvest with financial donations. Thanks to this generous financial support, Forgotten Harvest can distribute its food free of charge to the more than 250 partner agencies we serve. It enables those agencies to offer vital human services for people facing need and makes our community a better place to live.
Last year, Forgotten Harvest rescued over 45 million pounds of perfectly good food that might otherwise have gone to waste – from grocery stores, distributors, farms, processors and food manufacturercs. The food businesses in metro Detroit donated the equivalent of over $77 million in food in our 2016-2017 fiscal year. Their efforts enable more people to sustain themselves economically and contribute to the health of the community with the rescue of surplus, safe, healthy food that might otherwise have been destroyed.
Over 16,000 people walked through the doors of our Oak Park warehouse or through the gates of Forgotten Harvest Farms during the past growing season. Without the 70,000 hours of service they unselfishly gave to their neighbors, we simply could not exist.
Staff & Board Members
There are 75 very special employees who serve Forgotten Harvest. Last year, our drivers covered over 500,000 miles in their mission to rescue and distribute food to our tri-county network of agencies. In addition to their professional talents, Forgotten Harvest employees bring a strong heart and indomitable spirit every day to work.
Board Members current and past are vital ambassadors of Forgotten Harvest and help us open doors to new opportunities that sustain our mission.
Dr. Nancy Fishman was the founder our organization. She set a simple mission in place, almost 28 years ago. We have not deviated from it since. That simple mission – fight hunger and fight food waste. Since 2000, Forgotten Harvest has rescued over 365 million pounds of food. Dr. Fishman’s inspiration and belief in the food rescue model serves as the cornerstone of our values and the foundation for innovations we plan in the future.
There is a true grit and sense of optimism inherent to metro Detroit people. We see it every day in the people we serve, the donors that support our mission and the resolve of our staff.
Our deepest thanks for your support throughout 2017 and best wishes on the holiday season.
Be assured our trucks will continue to roll in 2018 thanks to your generosity and heart.
Kirk Mayes, CEO Forgotten Harvest
Learn how you can help Forgotten Harvest help others at forgottenharvest.org.