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:
- Be recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit, charitable organization, or be affiliated with a 501(c)(3) umbrella organization. Limited exceptions may be made if your church meets the spirit of the criteria used by the IRS to define a church (aka 14pt Letter)
- Distribute food free of charge directly to the ill, needy, or children and without requiring the recipient to pay, pray, or work in order to eat or gain admission to the food distribution setting
- Have a facility able to safely handle and distribute food
- Have one agency staff member or volunteer trained in food safety at all times
- Distribute emergency food or a meal prepared onsite to be consumed on the premises
- Have hours posted and visible to the general public and be open at least twice per month for a minimum of 90 minutes per distribution. Cannot be an on-call pantry only.
- 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
If your charitable food program is located within our service area, initiating a relationship with Feeding America West Michigan may help you conduct your food sourcing more efficiently and cost-effectively.
Our Partner Agencies may access their local warehouse to pick up pre-ordered inventory of donated food and household products in exchange for a handling fee of 0 to 18 cents per pound. Your fees help us keep the lights on, the trucks running, and all those donated foods nicely sorted, labeled, and repacked.
Our application process requires the completion of the following:
If you have any questions regarding how to fill out the application, please our Agency Relations department .
Please note: Holiday program applications are due each year by October 1.