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Online food drive making a difference for food banks across the U.S.

From now until Nov. 15, Kellogg, Del Monte Foods Inc. and Hormel Foods Inc. have made it easy to donate food to help feed families facing hunger through the World Food Day online food drive on Amazon. For the second year, we’ve created a special page where people can simply “click, ship and donate” the foods most requested by Feeding America® member food banks across the U.S.

One of the participating food banks is Gleaners Community Food Bank in Detroit. Kellogg recently spoke with Gleaners’ Director of Marketing, Terry Collia to learn how the online food drive is helping fulfill its mission to achieve a hunger-free community in southeast Michigan.

Q: Tell us a little bit about Gleaners?

Gleaners Community Food Bank was founded in 1977 to provide people with access to sufficient, nutritious food and related resources. We’re headquartered in Detroit, Mich. and operate five distribution centers in Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Livingston and Monroe counties. We provide food to 528 soup kitchens, food pantries, shelters and other agencies throughout southeastern Michigan. In 2019, Gleaners was named Feeding America’s 2019 Food Bank of the Year for our innovative approach to achieving food security for the region.

Q: How many people does Gleaners serve?

In 2018, we distributed about 96,348 meals daily. We provide nourishing food to approximately 430,000 people, including 171,000 children, a year.

Q: What results are you seeing from the online food drive on Amazon?

We’re excited to see Amazon boxes arrive because we know they contain food that very much aligns with the needs of school-age children. Being selected for the online food drive also helps us engage more people in our efforts to fight food insecurity.

Q: How do your staff and volunteers feel about being a part of this unique approach to driving food donations to food banks?

We’re excited! This time of year is considered the “busy season” for Gleaners. We’re engaged in many efforts that drive a lot of food donations – which we greatly appreciate. Participating in the online food drive on Amazon gives our team an opportunity to explore a new and unique way of managing food drives.

Q: What are the most needed foods identified by Gleaners and other Feeding America member food banks?

The following foods are those most needed by the people we serve:

  1. Canned protein (chicken, beef, turkey, fish)

  2. Canned or boxed meals (soups, stews, ravioli, mac & cheese)

  3. Canned fruits & vegetables

  4. Cereal (hot & cold) and bars

  5. Dried beans

  6. Peanut or other nut butters

  7. Dry or canned pasta

  8. Pasta sauce

  9. Shelf-stable milk

Q: What else would you like people to know about Gleaners and the World Food Day online food drive?

We’re sharing information about the online food drive on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram  channels. It’s a great way to donate food that will arrive at the food bank in time to help families enjoy the upcoming holiday season. And of course, we’d like to thank people for their donations.