Do you want to help with hunger relief efforts in Western Michigan and the Upper Peninsula? Are you a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and have the capacity and resources to store and distribute food, meals or other hunger-related services?
If so, you may be just the partner we need, especially in areas of Michigan that lack emergency food services. Our partner agencies distribute directly to those in need and are a vital part of the emergency food chain. Feeding America West Michigan 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. Read below to learn about our requirements for partners and some tips for starting a food program.
Please note that when starting an emergency food program, it is also important to consider locations of other food programs in your area. We encourage partnerships with agencies that already distribute food in your community. It may be more economical for you to provide volunteer or financial support to help them expand their hours or the number of people they serve rather than starting a new program. If you do want to proceed, any organization that wishes to partner with Feeding America West Michigan must meet the following requirements prior to beginning the application process:
- Organization is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization or a church located in the food bank service area. Independent faith based organizations must complete a letter containing the information necessary to meet the criteria used by the IRS (download worksheet).
- Food bank product will only be utilized as related to agency’s purpose of serving the ill, needy or minor children, and will not be used within the agency or to feed staff or volunteers.
- Fixed site food pantries must operate regularly scheduled hours and are open at least twice a month for a minimum of 90 minutes each time. Faith based organizations may not be open before or after services and must be open on at least one other day during the week.
- Facility includes secure and adequate physical storage/preparation/distribution space that is not located in a personal residence.
- Have staff/volunteers who are accountable for record keeping, inventory control, and a system for keeping track of individuals served.
- Have the ability and willingness to access and submit information via the internet on a monthly basis.
- Willing to adhere to food safety guidelines and to complete food safety training.
- Ensure food is distributed free of charge with absolutely no conditions levied, implied, or exchanged.
- Pass a site inspection prior to membership and allow for appropriate on-going monitoring by food bank representatives.
- Agree to obtain a minimum of 1000 pounds of product from the food bank annually.
- Mobile food pantries must host distributions a minimum 4 times a year unless an exemption is granted.
- Provide proof of sufficient funding sources to cover expenses.
- Pass a site inspection prior to approval and up to once every year afterwards.
- Operate a food program for at least three months prior to applying for membership.
- $100 non-refundable application fee payable by organization applying for membership. If organization qualifies for partnership $50 will be placed into the agency account. The food bank account must be used within the first 6 months of membership, otherwise the $50 will be forfeited and a new application would be required to reopen the account.
Our application is an MS Word fillable form. Click here to download.
If you need a different format, please email agency.support@FeedWM.org
Supplemental application documents
Mobile agencies must also enroll in our USDA program.