LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Health & Hospital Association (MHA) and its member hospitals and health systems contributed a combined total of $45,000 toward the 2022 Michigan Harvest Gathering in an effort to combat food insecurity throughout the state. The annual campaign organized by the Food Bank Council of Michigan concluded Jan. 25 at the Michigan State Capitol with a luncheon and check presentation from MHA CEO Brian Peters.
“We’re grateful for the opportunity to be a part of these crucial efforts that help to equitably advance the health of individuals and communities throughout the state,” said MHA CEO Brian Peters. “We’re also proud and grateful for our hospitals and health systems who remain committed to caring for their communities inside and outside of the traditional healthcare setting.”
Access to healthy food is a key social determinant of health. The MHA’s decades of participation in the Michigan Harvest Gathering supports the association’s commitment to eliminating health disparities and striving to achieve health equity. According to Feeding America, 53 million people nationwide used a food bank or community program to help put food on the table in 2021. Food insecurity is a reality for one in seven (nearly 300,000) Michigan children and 5.3% of Michigan seniors (over 127,000 individuals).
“This effort reflects the challenges that many communities face for the most basic of necessities, especially after the pandemic,” said T. Anthony Denton, senior vice president and chief operating officer, University of Michigan Health System and Michigan Health & Hospital Association board chair. “It’s our responsibility as healthcare leaders to acknowledge and address the needs of our most vulnerable residents in order to give everyone the opportunity to thrive and to live healthy lives.”
Over the past 30 years, the Michigan Harvest Gathering has raised awareness and funds to support food access for people at all walks of life. Every dollar donated helps secure and distribute at least 12 pounds of food, or 10 average-sized meals, to people facing food insecurity.
“The Food Bank Council of Michigan is extremely grateful for the many years of support for the Michigan Harvest Gathering from the Michigan Health & Hospital Association,” said Food Bank Council of Michigan executive director Dr. Phil Knight. “Inflation is not only impacting the families we serve but also limiting the purchasing power of our food bank network. The support and monetary donations we receive from great organizations like MHA help ensure Michigan residents who are facing food insecurity each day get the nutrition they need.”
Donations can be made year-round through the Food Bank Council website, either with a monetary contribution or by selecting from a variety of food products to donate. More information about the MHA’s involvement with the Michigan Harvest Gathering can be found at mha.org.